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Facebook Messenger has grown from a necessary evil to a semi-decent service in its own right, spanning messaging (obviously), chatbots and more.
The app is one of the more popular mobile downloads around, but here are a few more ways you can get the most out of it.
Disable those pesky chat heads
We’re starting off with a simple but effective tip for an annoying feature: those weird chat heads.
The chat heads are essentially those chat bubbles that pop up when you receive a message, obscuring part of your screen and just being obnoxious.
In any event, you’ll want to visit your profile in the top-right corner and tap the slider next to the “chat heads” field. Done.
Download Facebook Messenger Lite
Don’t care for the games and stickers and other claptrap? Then download Messenger Lite from the Play Store instead.
The Lite version strips out all the extra tosh, leaving you with the basic messaging functionality. After all, isn’t that the core reason to use Messenger?
Save data by manually downloading media
Facebook Messenger defaults to automatically downloading sent photos/short videos if you’re using it over a mobile connection. This is a sure-fire way to run out of data in quick fashion.
Instead, what you’ll want to do is tap your profile (top right corner again) and choose “data saver”. From here you can enable the “data saver” function, which lets you tap on a photo/video to download when on mobile data.
Change your default skin tone for emojis
Did you know that most emoji services allow you to change the skin tone of an individual emoji by holding down on it?
Facebook Messenger goes one step further, as you visit your profile (top-right corner) and scroll to “photos and media”. From here, you select “emoji” and choose the default skin tone.
Now, the next time you open up the emoji library in a conversation, the emojis should have your desired skin colour.
Check your “other” inbox in Messenger
One of the biggest changes Facebook made in recent years was the move to have “message requests” or an other inbox. Basically, this inbox is meant for people you don’t know from a bar of soap.
To check message requests, you’ll want to tap the right-most icon in the dock (the icon that looks like a list, next to the group icon). From here, you’ll see “message requests”, being a venue for messages from strangers. All sorted.
Take advantage of third-party apps in Messenger
Did you know that numerous third-party apps feature integration with Messenger? No? Well, now you do.
All you need to do is tap on a desired contact and choose the ellipsis (…) that appears. From here, you’ll find a field called “get apps for Messenger”, with a ton of compatible apps listed below this heading.
Want to send your work documents and other cloud-stored data with contacts? Try the Dropbox Messenger app. Want the Giphy GIF search tool? It’s here. Other notable apps include Bitmoji, Flipboard, a voice changer and Spotify.
Mute specific contacts
Another neat trick is the ability to mute conversations, simply accomplished by holding down on the conversation in question and then tapping “mute notifications”.
From here, you’ll want to choose a desired time period, ranging from 15 minutes and an hour to 24 hours and “until I turn it back on”. Covering all the bases then.
View your block list and add to it
Holding down on a conversation also allows you to block the contact in question, but what if you’d like to see your list of blocked people?
No problem, as you merely have to visit your profile (top-right corner once again) and choose “people”. From here, you’ll want to tap on “blocked people” to view all the people you’ve ever blocked and add to the list.
Of course, you can use Facebook’s desktop website to quickly access your messages as intended. But you can also visit Messenger.com.
This interface is great if you spend loads of time on Messenger in the first place, be it for work or personal use, stripping out the timeline/news feed in the process.
Friends can’t decide on lunch venue? Create a poll
In a rather cool touch, Facebook lets you create polls in Messenger — and it’s pretty easy to do this.
From a desired group, you’ll want to tap the ellipsis (…) and choose “polls”. This way, you can quickly settle on KFC or McDonald’s, or whatever else floats your boat.
On the desktop version of Messenger, you’ll want to tap the graph icon in a group of your choosing (next to the microphone icon).
Increase the size of your emojis
We’ve seen Allo famously allow for whisper/shout functionality, allowing you to change the size of font and emoji icons. But Facebook Messenger offers something similar for the latter.
You’ll need to merely hold your finger down on the desired emoji to watch it grow. Release your finger when the emoji is large enough to send it, otherwise, it’ll pop like a balloon.