Facebook Messenger 101

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.

How To: Use Quote Replies in Facebook Messenger to Prevent Confusing Conversations, Just Like in WhatsApp

Text conversations can get confusing fast. In the time it takes to type up a response to your friend, they can send you one, two, three, or more messages. Once you send the original reply, it no longer makes sense in the context of the chat. Clear up the confusion with Facebook Messenger's "new" quote reply feature, which shows both you and your friend exactly what message you're responding to.

How To: Chat with End-to-End Encryption Using Facebook Messenger's Secret Conversations

Traditionally, if you were looking for end-to-end encrypted messaging, you'd stick with something like iMessage, WhatsApp, or Signal. However, if you already use Facebook Messenger, you have all you need for truly private chats with its built-in E2E encryption. It's available to all users, on Android and iOS — you just need to know where to look.

How To: Make Fun Looping Facebook Messenger Videos with Boomerang

Boomerangs are a staple camera feature for Instagram and its users. The idea is to take up to 20 frames of video, which Instagram then processes into a looping movie that plays forward and backward. Since Facebook owns Instagram, it was only a matter of time before the feature hit its namesake apps, so it's not surprising that Messenger now supports the popular camera technique.

How To: Unsend Messages in Facebook Messenger Chats So Your Recipients Can't View Them

How many times have you sent a message on Facebook Messenger that you immediately wanted to take back? Most email services have an unsend option, as well as Instagram Direct, and Messenger has caught on to this convenience with a take-back button for any chat you're in — even in groups. Plus, you can also remove other people's messages.

Coming Soon: Share Your 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 cool trick you discovered on your phone, recording your screen is one way to do so. Messenger, Facebook's standalone chat app, is looking to simplify the experience by implementing screen sharing directly in your video calls.

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: 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: Chat with Friends on Messenger Without a Facebook Account

For some of you, whether or not to delete Facebook is a daily struggle. One reason you might not have pulled the trigger on your Facebook account yet could be because of Messenger, which provides millions of people with different devices an easy way to communicate with each other. But here's a secret you might not know: you don't need to have a Facebook account to use Facebook's popular chat app.

How To: Invite People to Messenger Group Chats with a Link So They Can Join Right Away or Wait on Approval

While some of our group chats should probably remain private and closed off, others will only get better with more people. Whether you're organizing an event and need a headcount or you want to share a funny YouTube video with a large crowd, you can add all the friends you wish to on Facebook Messenger by sending them a unique link.

How To: Hide Your Active Status in Facebook Messenger to Go Incognito Online

For all of its advantages, Facebook Messenger isn't the best for people who like their privacy. The popular app lets all your Facebook friends know when you're online by default, as well as how long you've been idle, making it impossible to check up with one person without leaving yourself vulnerable to your entire friends list. Luckily, this feature is one you can turn off.

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