1How Facebook Made Its Messenger App More Secure, Versatile
2Encryption Helps Facebook Keep Pace With Competitors
The addition of end-to-end encryption to private messages is a major one. Users can now hold private conversations without fearing they’ll be intercepted by a third party. It also helps Facebook Messenger keep pace with Apple’s iMessage, Telegram and Facebook’s other messaging program, WhatsApp, which already offer the feature. Critics, however, bemoan the fact that criminals now will be able to communicate with each other more securely using the service, since law enforcement will no longer be able to get private chat records from Facebook.
3Messages Won’t Hang Around Forever
In addition to end-to-end encryption, Facebook has added a self-destruct feature to its private messages. With that feature, users will be able to decide how long a message will be available to its recipient. After the message reaches its time limit, it’s deleted from both devices. Think of it like Snapchat for messages.
4Messenger Works on Most Operating Systems
5You Can Make Voice Calls Too
6Or Make a Video Call
To take on services like FaceTime and Skype, Facebook Messenger offers a video-calling feature for face-to-face conversations. Video calling quality will of course depend on the data connections users have, but the experience and quality are strikingly similar to those of Apple FaceTime and Google Hangouts.
7Annotate Photos and Videos
8Yes, Users Will Find Stickers
At its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple announced support for digital stickers in iMessage. However, Facebook Messenger has offered the feature for quite some time. In a chat string, users can send a wide array of stickers to make their texts more “expressive,” Facebook says. Users can send “delightful, silly, cute, [and] weird” stickers through the service.
9Share a Location Anywhere
10Help Someone Out With Cash
Facebook Messenger enables users to securely send others money. Users simply need to add their debit card to their accounts. They can then decide how much to send to a friend and confirm the payment. The recipient will have the amount immediately deposited into his or her account. The service, which is only available in the U.S., is free.
11A Little Chatbot in Your Life
Chatbots are one of Facebook Messenger’s newest features. Designed by companies, chatbots automatically respond to queries posed to them by users. Companies offering everything from shopping advice to customer support have heavily adopted chatbots, but there are some who still question whether chatbots have what it takes to thrive over the long haul. Facebook, at least, thinks the technology has legs.