Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger

Facebook introduces new camera for Messenger, adds festive effects

Facebook has updated its Messenger app with a new camera and some Christmas-themed effects. The upgraded camera is “faster, simpler and more fun,” than previously, says Facebook, in order to meet increasingly visual messaging needs.

The camera button itself now appears at the bottom-center of the app and is available once Messenger is opened, rather than only in the conversation window.

The new features include AR effects, or “3D masks”, which overlay animated content onto videos, as well as “thousands of stickers, frames,” and other effects.

Facebook introduces new camera for Messenger, adds festive effects

“Over 2.5 billion emojis, photos, stickers and videos are sent every day on Messenger,” said Facebook, in its announcement. “In some ways the camera is now replacing the keyboard.”

Facebook announced the update yesterday, so it should be hitting devices soon. Download Facebook Messenger from Google Play at the link.

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Recent updates

Messenger games

November 29, Facebook has rolled out an update which allows users to play classic and current games via Messenger. Tapping the new game controller icon in the app, found below the text box, will bring up a list of the free games for you to play. There are 17 games available currently, from classics like Pac-Man, Galaga and Space Invaders to more recent releases such as Words with Friends: Frenzy.

Android Auto notifications

November 15, Facebook has announced that it has integrated Android Auto support into its Messenger app. While driving an Android Auto-supported vehicle, Messenger will display new message notifications on the screen and users can play the message out loud by tapping the speaker icon. There are also two options for responding: one is to press a button that will send a message such as, “I’m driving right now; contact me later”.  The other is to speak the message they want to send, which will then be transcribed and sent to the recipient as text.

Facebook Messenger update lets users play Pac-Man and other classic games

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Facebook Messenger can already be a huge time sink just by simply chatting with friends. Now the app is rolling out an update for Android and iOS that will allow users to play a number of classic and current games directly in Messenger, which could cause even more productivity losses.

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April 13, 2016

The update is a bit different than the hidden basketball and football Easter egg games that have been previously released for Messenger.  The new version of the app adds a game controller icon below where users normally type messages. Tapping on it will bring up a list of the free games that are available to play within the app. There are current 17 games to choose from, ranging from classic arcade titles like Pac-Man, Galaga and Space Invaders to more recent releases such as Words with Friends: Frenzy.

The Messenger update also allows friends to challenge others online in games to see if they can beat each other’s scores on a leaderboard. In addition, games on Messenger will allow for in-context chat and group thread conversations.

Facebook Messenger will be adding more and more free games in the following weeks and months. The games update is now live in 30 countries, with more markets to be added in the future. Will you be challenging your friends to a quick Pac-Man game in Messenger soon?

Get it at Google Play

Facebook Messenger notifications will show up on Android Auto displays

If you are a frequent user of Facebook Messenger, and you also happen to own a car that can use Android Auto, you will now be able to safely receive and respond to Messenger notifications while driving. Facebook announced that it has updated the Messenger Android app to integrate it with Android Auto.

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Android Auto: everything you need to know

August 3, 2016

If you do happen to have Facebook Messenger installed on your Android smartphone, and have it with you while driving down the road on your Android Auto-supported vehicle, the Messenger update will display any new message notifications on the screen. Users can also listen to the actual message itself, read aloud by pressing the speaker icon.

Messenger users then have two options for responding. One is simply to press a button that will send a canned message back to the person, such as, “I’m driving right now; contact me later”.  The other is to speak out the message they want to send through the app, which is then transcribed and sent back to the person on the other end as text.

Do you believe this new Facebook Messenger update will be a useful one for Android Auto users?

Get it from Google Play