Apps: The Many Wonders of Facebook Messenger

    While the creation of social networking sites was key to bridging distances through an online community where you can practically find anyone, the ability to actually connect and interact with that person you just found on Facebook makes a substantial difference. Given the situation, the best thing that we social beings have is the Messenger app.

    Since its autonomy from Facebook, Messenger has become more than just being a sub-feature where you can send messages. It offers one of the best messaging experiences through fun, convenient features that let you interact and express yourself to all your Facebook friends the world over.

    Though initially, the requirement to download the Messenger app to access messages received a lukewarm response as some users found installing another app for a feature that’s already in the main app a hassle, it later on become a necessity for the reason that people you need to contact are on the app. According to Nielsen, Messenger was the fastest growing app of 2015 in the US.

    To further explain Messenger’s popularity let’s go over a few statistics shared by Facebook itself:

    • The app currently is the second most popular iOS app next to Facebook.
    • Messenger has more than 800-million monthly active users.
    • The number of messages sent to businesses on Facebook has doubled in the past year.
    • People send more than 9.5 billion photos to friends through Messenger every month.
    • On average, more than five million GIFs are sent every day via Messenger.
    • Messenger has been downloaded more than 1 billion times on Android.
    • Since the launch of Messenger Platform, a number of Messenger apps have gotten more than a million installs. These include Talking Tom, GIPHY, Sound Clips, and Bitmoji. Across the Facebook family of apps, on average more than 45 billion messages are now sent daily.
    • Two days after the launch of the video call feature, Messenger crossed the one million call mark.
    • Messenger already accounts for more than 10-percent of all mobile VoIP calls globally.

    These amazing feats are all thanks to the superior experience Messenger presents to all its users. With it being a separate app from Facebook, it works faster and has since been embroidered with convenient features to enhance messaging.

    Know when messages are typed, delivered, and seen
    When you open the app, you’ll see names of people you previously conversed with—the most recent appearing on the topmost part. When you click on a person’s icon, you’ll see if he/she is ‘Active Now’ which means he/she is currently available for chat; or ‘Active XX hours ago’ this indicates how long they’ve been idle. Messenger informs you in real time if the person on the receiving end has seen your message, which spurred the rather savage term “seenzoned.” You’ll also see, through specific indicators, if the message has been delivered (encircled check mark), when the person received a notification of the message (encircled check mark filled with blue), or when he/she is typing a response (ellipses). With these, you can be sure your messages are going through your friends’ phone.

    Call across the world for free
    With just an internet connection, you can make clear HD Calls, free of charge. Also, if you have a front-camera on your phone you are able to have face-to-face conversations with friends and family wherever they are as long as you are connected to the Internet.

    Say, sing or shout your messages
    When you catch the lazy hand syndrome, things are literally easier said than done. This is where Messenger’s voice message features come in handy. Got something to say that requires feelings to be taken in context? Why not record it? When you see the red button that screams record, press on it until you’ve said your piece; release your finger and the message gets sent instantly.

    Send photos and videos instantly
    Saw a hilarious sign and want to share it with your friends and get instant reaction? Messenger has a built-in camera app that allows you to snap and shoot moments as they happen. As an added quirk, you can also add drawings or text to further add personality on your photos.

    Converse with your favorite people
    Group calls were so much fun back in the day. Then, text messaging rose in popularity, but didn’t allow group texts. With Messenger, you can create a group with your favorite people. You can also change the name of the chat to whatever title fits. What’s more, you can give a funny nickname to each person in the group, change the color of chat heads, and set an emoji for the group; all these features are also available in individual chats.

    Apart from these many awesome features, you can also send a map of any location, stickers matching your mood, or gifs for added expression accuracy to your friends. There’s also an option to add more features through apps available for download within Messenger. Meanwhile, there are several features currently only available in the US such as the ability to send money and a business-specific feature where they can have personal, real-time conversations with their customers.

    2015 was a great year for Messenger. For 2016, themes that are basis for app improvement are disappearance of the phone number, a paradigm shift in the way people engage–threads are going to be big, personalizing conversations, digital virtual assistant, delightful messaging experience. With these in the pipeline, we social media nerds have a lot to anticipate in the year ahead.

    Also published in February Issue 2016

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