Facebook Messenger 101

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.

How To: Use Facebook Messenger's Hidden 'Vanish Mode' for Disappearing Messages Whenever You Want

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."

How To: Lock Facebook Messenger Behind Face ID or Touch ID for Maximum Security

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.

How To: Hide Your Facebook Messenger Online Status from Everyone Except Certain Contacts

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.

How To: Share Your Phone's Screen with Friends in Facebook Messenger Video Chats

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.

How To: Set & Remove Nicknames in Facebook Messenger Chats for More Personalized Conversations

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.

How To: Change the Notification Sound & Call Ringtone in Facebook Messenger

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.

How To: Change the Chat Color in Messenger Threads to Personalize a Conversation

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.

Coming Soon: Call & Message All Your Facebook, Instagram & WhatsApp Friends from One App

You're in constant communication with your friends and family. The only issue? Nobody uses the same app. Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp — you have contacts spanning all three, and the resulting balancing-act to keep in touch can be overwhelming. That's why Facebook — who owns all three apps — is coming out with a way to call and message friends across all three platforms from one place.

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