Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Facebook Messenger updated with admin privileges and joinable links

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With the latest Facebook Messenger update, not only can you create a custom invite link for your group chat, but you can also remove certain members as an admin.

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People love to create group chats on the Facebook Messenger app – in fact, the company claims that 2.5 million new groups were created on Messenger every day last year! That’s precisely why Facebook is introducing new and easier ways to add and control group members. With the latest update, you can enable admin privileges, which let you approve new members before they join your group chat. As well, you can create convenient joinable links so that others can join in on the conversation with a simple click.

As for admin privileges, Facebook explains that whether it’s a group chat for a surprise birthday party or a study group, admins will have the ability to remove members and promote or demote any other person in the group chat as an admin. These privileges will be off by default, however, so you don’t need to worry about them if you don’t need that level of control.

As for joinable links, anyone in the group can create a custom link, which can be sent as an invite to the conversation. If admin privileges are turned off, people who click on the links will be added to the group automatically.

Facebook also points out that now you can have real-time voice and video chats in groups with up to 50 people though I’m not sure why anyone would ever need to do that – who has that many friends, anyway?

Recent updates

Facebook Messenger ads are rolling out globally

July 12: Facebook Messenger ads are rolling out globally. These will be found in the Home tab in Messenger, between your conversations, giving brands access to Messenger’s 1.2 billion-strong user base. “People already spend time on Messenger interacting and conducting commerce with businesses and brands they love,” wrote Facebook, on its Messenger blog. “Now with Messenger ads, they have an opportunity to discover experiences directly on their home tab.”

Messenger Discover tab now live

June 28: The new Discover tab in Messenger is now available to all users in the US. This basically lets you connect to the businesses you like, while at the same time allowing companies to promote their services to you. There are a number of different categories available including News, Entertainment, Finance, and others that can narrow down the search and help you find what you’re looking for faster. You’ll also find popular bots from brands like CNN, Nike, and the NBA, among others.

Filters and reactions for video chats

June 26: With this update, Facebook added color filters, animated reactions, and even more masks and effects to Messenger video chats. You can now react while video chatting with someone with each emotion you choose popping up on the screen for a short period of time. There are five emoji icons available: love, haha, wow, sad, and angry.

You can also tweak the lighting or even the color of your entire screen with the new filter feature, and take a screenshot of your video chats and share them with others. Additionally, the update added more masks, which are essentially Facebook Messenger’s take on Snapchat’s face filters.

Facebook Messenger getting a UI change

May 19: With the latest update, the company has reorganized the Messenger interface to make it easier to connect with friends and catch up on what you’ve missed. Across the top of the landing page, you’ll now find tabs for your “active” friends, messages and groups, while at the bottom, you’ll see buttons for the home screen, calls, camera, games and contacts. Essentially, all of the main areas are now just a tap or swipe away.

Facebook Messenger Instant Games

May 2: Facebook begins rolling out Instant Games globally, including the ability to weave in leaderboards/tournaments, add players via threads, use Game Bots and more. Words With Friends is among the first games to take advantage of these features. EverWing will also be updated with the new capabilities, and 8 Ball Pool will soon be added as a new title.

Facebook Messenger gains chat extensions, M improvements and more

April 18: Facebook’s F8 developer conference brought plenty of news and Messenger obviously didn’t stay behind. The social network announced a new Discover tab, Messenger Codes, Chat Extensions and M improvements. One can now do things like share songs, order food from a chat, find business information with a QR code and more.

Group payment support

April 11: Facebook Messenger now lets you make and receive group payments. To get started, open the Messenger app, pull up a group chat, then tap the plus sign button in the bottom left corner of the conversation. Find the payments icon ($), then tap it. After that, you can then choose who to send or request money from. You can easily select everyone in the group, or select only a few members. Then enter the amount of money you’d like to send or request, specify what the money is for, then tap Request. Easy, right?

“M” comes to Messenger

April 7: Facebook has announced the launch of suggestions in its Messenger app, delivered courtesy of its AI assistant M. This is a big step for the company: M has itself has been in development since 2015, and though all of its features haven’t been finalized yet, its suggestions component is now live.

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