Thursday, March 9, 2017

Facebook Messenger’s Snapchat-like feature is going global

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We first learned about Messenger Day back in September of last year. At the time it was being tested exclusively in Poland. But no longer! The feature is now rolling out worldwide to the Messenger app.

Okay, so what is Messenger Day? Basically, it’s a Snapchat clone that resides as a feature inside of Facebook Messenger, instead of requiring a whole different app. To make it work, you simply use Messenger’s built-in camera to make a video or take some pictures. You then can add text, cartoon overlays, and other extras. From there, you throw it into a special area called “your Day”. The day can be accessed by either all your friends or select users. After 24 hours, it deletes itself.

Recent updates

Facebook testing dislike button and other reactions in Messenger

March 6. About a year ago, Facebook launched a few additional reaction buttons. Unfortunately, a dislike button wasn’t one of them. Now the company is finally working on a thumbs down reaction, but only for the popular Messenger app. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is testing out a new reactions feature in Messenger. Users can now add reaction emojis to each individual message within a conversation. There are seven reactions available, with one of them being the already mentioned thumbs down.

There’s also a thumbs up available, while the other five reactions are similar to those for Facebook posts. To add a reaction, all you have to do is tap the emoji button and chose one from the list. A reaction counter is also available, meaning you can see the exact number of reactions for each message. Facebook has already confirmed that it is testing the new reactions feature to TechCrunch by saying, “We’re always testing ways to make Messenger more fun and engaging. This is a small test where we enable people to share an emoji that best represents their feelings on a message.”

The company also mentioned that it sees the thumbs down as a “No” button rather than a dislike button. The new feature is currently being tested out with a small group of people and will hopefully be available to all users if the test turns out to be a success.

Ads in Messenger

January 25. Facebook is bringing ads to your Messenger home screen. for now the “feature” is a limited test run in Australia and Thailand, but you can bet it’ll be rolling out globally soon enough.

Group video chat

December 19, Facebook added group video chat for up to six participants, clearly taking aim at Skype’s traditional domain. Up to 50 folks can now join in on an audio call too, making it a viable alternative for conference calls. Facebook claims 245 million people make video calls with Messenger every single month.

New camera

December 15, Facebook updated its Messenger app with a new camera and some Christmas-themed effects in time for the holiday season. The upgraded camera is “faster, simpler and more fun,” than previously, says Facebook, in order to meet increasingly visual messaging needs.

The camera button itself now appears at the bottom-center of the app and is available once Messenger is opened, rather than only in the conversation window. Other new features include AR effects, or “3D masks”, which overlay animated content onto videos, as well as “thousands of stickers, frames,” and other effects.

Messenger games

November 29, Facebook has rolled out an update which allows users to play classic and current games via Messenger. Tapping the new game controller icon in the app, found below the text box, will bring up a list of the free games for you to play. There are 17 games available currently, from classics like Pac-Man, Galaga and Space Invaders to more recent releases such as Words with Friends: Frenzy.

Android Auto notifications

November 15, Facebook has announced that it has integrated Android Auto support into its Messenger app. While driving an Android Auto-supported vehicle, Messenger will display new message notifications on the screen and users can play the message out loud by tapping the speaker icon. There are also two options for responding: one is to press a button that will send a message such as, “I’m driving right now; contact me later”.  The other is to speak the message they want to send, which will then be transcribed and sent to the recipient as text.

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