Facebook's messaging app that bursts at the seams with trendy functions
Facebook Messenger is a messaging platform used to communicate on Facebook. Originally, Messenger was just Facebook Chat and was integrated into the website as a private messaging function. In 2010, Facebook started developing Messenger as a standalone app and the following year it was released for Android and iOS mobile devices. When the app was released, users were prompted to download it instead of accessing messages through the Facebook app, tapping on the Messenger icon would take you to the separate Messenger app.
This frustrated a lot of users, who didn't see the necessity in having the app when the messaging function of the Facebook app met all the user needs of the time. Messenger is great for every type of user who has Facebook, from the casual user to someone who uses Facebook and its messaging service frequently. Messenger is updated consistently, adding new features to improve accessibility among other things.
Best features of Facebook Messenger
For the casual user, Messenger is a fun way to communicate with your Facebook friends.
You can chat with other Facebook users that aren't on your friends list as well after accepting access to the message. In the beginning, when Messenger was just Facebook chat, text chat was the only available way of chatting, and you could send pictures as well.
Now, when tapping on the text box, you can add pictures from the camera roll, take pictures directly from the app using your device's camera, add gifs, send money, and have access to a number of different apps that you can use with the person that you're chatting with. You can share your location for 60 minute increments, play Facebook games, and set reminders.
Besides text chatting, you're able to record voice messages and send the recorded message to chats that you're having with other friends. There's a voice to text option as well if your friend can't listen to the message out loud. If you have a Pinterest account you can link it and send pins, or articles from well-known publishers like the Wall Street Journal. Like a message by tapping the thumbs up, or send emojis, stickers, and GIFs. Add more friends and create a group chat so everyone can join in on the fun at the same time.
Video chatting and calling are the most popular updates to the messenger. As long as you have internet access you can call a friend. Tapping on the phone icon opens up the call screen. You can do a regular voice call and toggle on the camera to turn on the video function. Access the text box while in the call by clicking on the text bubble, mute the microphone by clicking on the mic icon, and you can reverse the camera view from front facing to standard view. Take screenshots in the call that will save to your mobile device or tablet's camera roll. Now not only can you have text group chats, but you can have group voice and video calls too.
Messenger allows for a high degree of customization, enabling you to personalize the aesthetics of your chats. You can change the colors of icons and text bubbles, and these changes reflect in your friend's chat view as well.
The app features a dynamic stories section for both viewing and contributing, with interactive options like sending messages and emojis for each story clip. The interface customization extends to altering background and chat bubble colors, and setting unique notification sounds for different contacts — a handy feature for distinguishing between work and personal messages.
For less important conversations, the mute function is efficient and easy to use. Additionally, Messenger's dark mode swaps the standard white and blue theme for a softer dark grey and black, reducing eye strain and saving battery life, although it doesn’t fully capitalize on OLED display capabilities as it isn’t pitch black.
How much free space do I need to install Messenger?
On Android devices, the Messenger app initially occupies about 120 MB of storage space. However, as you engage in more conversations and share various media like videos, pictures, and links, the app's storage requirement can increase significantly. Prolonged use can sometimes lead to unexpected app shutdowns.
Furthermore, active use of Messenger, especially when juggling multiple chats, can have a noticeable impact on battery life, potentially draining it quickly. This highlights a trade-off between the app's rich feature set and its resource demands on your device.
Where can you run the program?
Messenger is available for PCs, mobile devices and tablets running Windows, Mac, iOS and Android mobile devices and tablets. On PC, you can access Facebook Messenger through the Facebook website, with pop-out text boxes appearing when messages are sent.
There is also a separate Messenger website if you wanted to have a separate tab for your chats, voice and video calls. All of the functions available for Messenger on Android are available on the web versions. On iOS when voice or video chatting, you can pick from a number of effects that hang and float all over the screen.
Consider Messenger Lite
For users with older smartphones, Messenger Lite offers an efficient alternative. This lightweight version retains many of the original app's features while significantly reducing memory usage. Although its interface and usability differ slightly, Messenger Lite is optimized for low-resource devices.
One notable distinction is its approach to image loading; high-quality images don't pre-load, requiring a brief wait for download. However, its GIF and sticker search functions are notably more efficient, streamlining the process of adding flair to your conversations.
Is there a better alternative?
For Android, the best alternative is Messages, the Android function that comes with your phone. It has all of the functions that regular text messaging apps come with, but of course there isn't a way to contact Facebook friends unless you have their phone number. The next alternative would be Whatsapp. Text, voice, and video chatting is good across the board, and just like Messenger you need to have some sort of internet or data connection to use it.
Other similar functions to Messenger are photo and video sharing capabilities, GIFs and stickers, voice messages, voice to text, and group chatting. With Whatsapp, you can display statuses, and view your chats on your desktop. Just go to the Whatsapp site for web and scan the QR code with your phone. You're instantly able to view all of the chats that you have on your phone on your desktop or laptop.
Facebook Messenger for Android is a lot of fun to have. It is absolutely packed with functions that make chatting delightful and kicks it up a notch in the messaging app department. There aren't many other apps with this many capabilities available for free for most mobile devices.
Should you download Facebook Messenger?
Yes, Facebook Messenger is a useful app, but bear in mind that it drains battery power very quickly, and asks for a lot of personal information in order to download it. When it was first released, users were essentially forced to download it in order to chat with Facebook friends on a mobile device.
If you're a user that utilizes a lot of functions often like video or voice chatting, sharing documents, photos, and videos, and you don't mind charging your phone more often, Messenger is worth having on your phone. Otherwise, the messaging application that comes with your phone or Whatsapp should meet your needs just fine.
- Free calls
- Simple interface
- Group chatting and calling
- Extensive customization
- Interactive stories feature
- Efficient GIF/sticker search
- Eye-friendly dark mode
- Excessive permissions
- Drains device battery
- Inconvenient photo sharing layout