Screen recording is an essential tool for sharing what's on our smartphones. If you want to send your friends and family an unsharable video you're watching, or a neat trick you discovered on your phone, recording your screen is one way to do so. Messenger, Facebook's standalone chat app, simplifies the experience by implementing live screen shares directly in video calls.
Facebook Messenger is a messaging app first, but of its more than 1.3 billion monthly users, 32 percent use its video chat feature at least once every month. While it may seem pretty straightforward to video call with family and friends on Messenger, there are many tips and tricks that can help enhance your experience.
It's open season on Zoom, the video conferencing platform that has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic but has come under fire due to privacy issues.
Snapchat popularized personalized stickers for social media and messaging with Bitmoji, followed by walled-garden versions from Apple with Memojis and Samsung with AR Emojis. Even Google has gotten into the game, integrating an emoji generator for Gboard.
Group chats in Facebook Messenger can devolve into outright noise pollution as people chit chat randomly and bombard you with distracting notifications. Unfortunately, leaving the group outright alerts everyone inside, so if you want to get out of the thread unnoticed, what exactly can you do?
Have you ever wondered how some people know you're online even though you swear you set the Messenger app to hide your active status? No, you're not crazy — it's an issue with two conflicting settings, and there's an easy fix.
You can now customize your chat experience in Facebook Messenger Lite for Android. You can change your chat bubble colors from steamy red to cool green depending on your mood or who you're chatting with. It's a great way to spice up your standard-issue Facebook blue chat theme.
Facebook Messenger Lite is more than just a battery-friendly version of the full-fledged Messenger app for Android. It's still packing some pretty neat features and it's so much snappier than its bloated counterpart. All of the essentials are present, down to the ability to give your contacts nicknames.
Your iPhone's Camera app isn't the only place you can use Portrait mode for selfies. An easy-to-miss feature built right into iOS lets app developers leverage Apple's powerful Portrait mode effect in their own apps, so you can add a shallow focus effect to photos and videos when using the front-facing camera in FaceTime and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Zoom.
Facebook recently implemented "Vanish Mode" into Messenger and Instagram, which lets you have an end-to-end encrypted conversation in a chat that will disappear as soon as you leave the thread. As cool as it sounds, it's easy to enable accidentally, and a friend could force you into using it. In some cases, that may not be ideal since everything you or the recipient said will disappear.
Saving a chat's history is useful for finding valuable information later on or just reliving a favorite conversation from the past. Sometimes, however, it's good to delete chat threads, and it's even better to have them auto-delete right after you see new messages. While some apps have had disappearing messages for some time (e.g. Snapchat), Facebook Messenger now has it too with "Vanish Mode."
Although Facebook has some questionable privacy and security practices, you'll find it still offers you ways to protect the information that's important to you. One of those ways is locking Messenger behind biometric authentication protocols such as Face ID and Touch ID, ensuring that no one else can access your private chats.
Facebook Messenger's user base has grown so much that it has taken over text messaging as the primary contact method for many people. However, sometimes you might want to hide your online status from specific contacts and appear offline to others. There's a neat little trick you should know that can help you achieve this.
Facebook Messenger Lite is an official, de-bloated version of Facebook Messenger for Android. It's snappier and it's a lot more battery-friendly, but this is because there are fewer features complicating everything. One feature they didn't leave out, however, is the ability to send audio messages.
How To: Enable or Disable Chat Heads in Facebook Messenger on Android for Quick Access to Conversations
Popular chat apps like Messenger allow us to communicate with friends and family across iOS and Android phones alike. However, that interconnectivity doesn't mean both apps are the same. While Facebook has made strides to close gaps between these two platforms, chat heads remain an exclusive feature for Android devices, and they let you keep Messenger threads close by.
For the most part, people use real names on Facebook. That's all fine and well for keeping tabs on those you know, but it can make friendly Messenger chats feel oddly formal. Skirt around this stiffness by giving your friends nicknames in Messenger for Android and iOS, so your conversations reflect the way you and your friends communicate in real life.
How To: Facebook's Adding a Way to Watch Videos Together with Friends Around the Globe Using Messenger
For all its faults, you can't say that Facebook hasn't been instrumental in connecting friends and family together, no matter where in the world everyone is. That's why one of its upcoming features — watching videos together with Facebook friends directly in Messenger — is so novel. It's just another example of the internet bridging gaps that couldn't be bridged just a short while ago.
When you hear a "ding" on your phone, chances are it's a new notification for Facebook Messenger, and it could be a fairly painful sound depending on how loud your volume's set. Thankfully, you aren't stuck with this singular alert option, so if you're unhappy with both this sound and the call ringtone, you can change it to something else — something less distressing.
Blue has defined Facebook's color scheme since its inception. Both Facebook's main app and Messenger theme are blue, which means your chat bubbles, like emoji, and menu bar items are also. While certainly a satisfying color for chat, you may get sick of it after a while, especially when it's in every thread. Luckily, Facebook lets you customize the color of individual Messenger chats.
How To: Sick of Thumbs Up? Here's How to Change the Default Chat Emoji in Individual Messenger Threads
When you can't think of a way to respond in Messenger with words, emojis and stickers will do the trick. Since Facebook is all about the "likes," which use a thumbs-up icon, there's a shortcut to the symbol just to the right of the chat field. It's always there to send a quick like in response to something. But it doesn't have to be the standard Facebook thumbs-up sign — it can be any emoji you want.