Facebook Messenger has just crossed the one-billion-active-user mark. The app now joins the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook, both owned by Facebook Inc. by the way, in an elite club.
Facebook thanked their billion users in a blog post yesterday, and commemorated the milestone with a special emoji and a video. Facebook Messenger users will also receive a notification when they open their app. Also, just try sending someone a balloon emoji!
In their blog post, Facebook very happily points out that we’re sending 22 million gifs a day, that we’ve played 1.2 billion games of basketball and at least 250 million games of soccer. We’ve also apparently sent our moms 300 million flower stickers and 360 million valentines to our loved ones.
Facebook just rolled out the support for SMS messaging in the latest Android update of Messenger App, bringing back the feature that the company implemented way back in 2012 only to drop it down in 2013 because of lack of traction. The SMS integration was spotted a while back and now it has been perfected and pushed to all users with the SMS portion of the app taking a pink theme rather than the default blue theme of the messenger to indicate the two different portions of the app as reported by TechCrunch.
The segregation of both the portions is not forced and intentional to avoid the chaos that will happen if at any given time people have engaged in conversation with each other on Messenger and SMS at the same time. Another important factor to take into account is the fact that SMS is expensive with standard charges applying while using it on the messenger while Facebook Messenger is much inexpensive and almost free if we take into account the cost and amount of data used.
Some features of Facebook Messenger were banned in Saudi Arabia. The sudden takedown of voice and video calling on Facebook Messenger follows a pattern of such communication apps not working any more. In particular, the voice and video calling features of these apps are said to be blocked. The calling feature was previously not working on WhatsApp and Viber. Along with Facebook Messenger, the functionality disappeared from Imo as well. During voice calls, there is a ringing alert, but the line does not connect when responded. Tango is reportedly an app that still supports this feature, and is still working.
Facebook Messenger may soon offer users, a similar feature or functionality of Snapchat, which would be their signature ‘disappearing messages’. As per a screenshot shared by Twitter user iOSAppChanges, the new Messenger update for iOS 68.0 version was spotted with “disappearing messages” inside a chat window.
Messenger says in the chat window, “You turned on disappearing messages. New messages will disappear from this conversation 15 minutes after being sent.” Another screenshot revealed that the message would have different slots for it to disappearing – a minute, 15 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours, 1 day and never.
Online doctor consultation platform Lybrate has extended its service to Facebook Messenger, which permits people to make health-related queries, get tips on health, and take a health quiz with the company’s chatbot.
Lybrate’s bot is available on its Facebook page, while the URL to the chatbot can be shared as a hyperlink as well. For now, the service does not allow booking of doctors through the messenger chatbot.
At the F8 developer conference, Facebook announced a bot platform that allows developers to build chatbots for Messenger. A Messenger bot has the capability to perform actions like sending links, showing images and providing detailed descriptions of products and services. The company also announced that it has opened up its live streaming API for developers.