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New features add to Messenger’s versatility

Posted on December 28, 2016

 

Facebook Messenger has recently rolled out a couple of new features that could potentially revolutionise the way users interact with the platform.

Earlier this month, it launched an update that gave the app a huge visual revamp, and was another one that continued Facebook’s apparent desire to overthrow Snapchat. The company explained that the changes were being brought to the platform to make it more ‘real-time’ and visual.

Swiping down on the Messenger home screen will now take users to a Snapchat-esque function that allows them to take pictures and add their own personal notes, stickers, background and text before sending it to their friends.

While the main idea of the feature is similar to that of Snapchat, its unique point of interest to users will be that you can reverse the way in which you take the snap. In Snapchat, you take a picture, then add the stickers, filters etc. However, in Messenger’s new feature, you can add the stickers, filters and text first before adding in the photograph at a later point, giving users the chance to create the perfect snap.

Furthermore, the company made some changes this week to the way it allows users to perform video calls from the app. A mere eight months have passed since Facebook first introduced video calls to Messenger, and this week, it expanded the feature so that a user can now have a video chat with up to 50 different people.

This update has been rolled out to iOS, Android and desktop versions of the platform, with Facebook claiming that it is one of the most frequently requested features for the Messenger app. Company officials stated in a blog post that 245 million users make video calls in Messenger each month and that this has prompted the Californian firm to update the way it brings group chats to life.

Once the full list of participants for a video call have been selected, a user should then press the video icon (located in the upper right corner of the screen) to start the call. Each person invited to the group call will then be notified. Once the call has more than six participants, only the dominant speaker in the conversation is shown to all callers, and that person is the only one who can end the call.

Having up to 50 people in one video conversation completely blows its competitors out of the water, as other video chatting platforms such as Skype and Google Hangout have a maximum number of 10 participants per chat.

Messenger is now a versatile platform and has found ways to incorporate aspects of multiple other platforms into one, making it a very useful tool for users and one that competitors such as Snapchat, Skype, Hangouts and WhatsApp should pay closer attention to.

Alan Littler

Account Executive at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Account Executive.

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