Gradually entering a level on a par with BlackBerry Messenger and Apple’s iMessage, Facebook Messenger has just been updated with some neat additional features.
Facebook’s dedicated messaging app for iPhone, which is independent of the official Facebook app, has gained the ability to display read receipts. In one-on-one messages, the app displays “Seen” followed by the time when the message was read. In group chats, it displays the same plus the names of the ones in the group who have read it. But unlike iMessage, which offers read receipts as an opt-in feature, Facebook Messenger provides no way to opt out of them in case you don’t want others knowing exactly when you’ve read their messages. In line with this, the app has also replaced its three-dot real-time typing symbol in group conversations with as simple as the name of the person currently typing a reply. The updated app now also attaches location data to each message, provided that the sender has granted permission for the app to do so.
Notably absent in the update is the long overdue support for video chat. Upon its launch in August last year, a “hidden” video component was discovered in the app. That component remains untapped. Rest assured that video chat is underway, along with an iPad version of Facebook Messenger.
Facebook Messenger is available in the App Store for free. Now that it’s enhanced with more features, do you see any clear advantages of using Facebook Messenger over working with messages in the all-inclusive Facebook app? Or do you not use Facebook to begin with?