Facebook essentially strong-armed us all into installing their standalone Messenger app for mobile devices, but the recent initiative that allows third-party development on the platform definitely makes it worth your time.
We've been having a lot of fun with all the new Messenger apps, sending GIFs, videos, avatars, and more directly from message threads, so I wanted to show you our favorites out of the quickly expanding catalog of options—the ones you should install right now!
Note: while we provide links to install these apps through both the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, you can easily access them through the three-dot menu that's visible while in a conversation thread.
You can also use the apps from here, but more on that below.
By singing the text you type to the tune of a chosen song, the app Ditty will make for some hilariously awesome conversations. Though the screenshots below do little justice to illustrate how fun this app is, I implore you to download it and give it a quick test drive. Some songs may cost you $0.99, but they had enough free ones to keep me satisfied.
When words fall short, express the way you feel with an animated GIF. Using the app GIPHY, it's easy to search for and find the perfect GIF for whatever you're trying to say. They're also pretty damn funny.
Using ClipDis, simply write out any message to your friend, then let the app find clips in film and TV that say each of the words written in the message. It's fun, different, and your friends should get a kick from it.
If you want to send a voice message through Messenger, then try FlipLip. Instead of a regular voice message, the app let's you change your voice with one of eight effects. You can also place some animations or visual effects over your face, because why not?!
Shout! is a fun application that lets you create personal GIFs. After every space in your sentence, the app takes a snapshot and places the typed word over your face. When you're done, you'll have a cool GIF with your sentence or phrase spelled out. Get creative and see what you can put together.
If you've ever felt like sending a picture with a huge, 3D robot animation obliterating an object, then PingTank is just the thing. Take a picture of anything or bring up one from your camera roll or gallery, then add one of the various 3D animations. You might only use it once and a while, but it's worth having on your phone for the times you do.
Wordeo is a cool way to attach imagery to your words. All you do is write out a sentence and the app finds pictures that correspond to the words in the sentence. Once you've chosen an image for each word, the app brings them all together with a short video. You even have the option to include music in your video.
Bitmoji is one of the simpler apps, but it's still pretty fun. After creating your personal avatar, the app allows you to send some regularly-used phrases or sayings in an animated way with your avatar acting out the phrase. I have to admit, it's kind of cute, dare I say.
Effectify is a personal favorite, and it's pretty damn simple. Just take a picture of a face, then add any of the available effects. You can make yourself old, double-chinned, a werewolf, and much more. What I like is that the effects look fairly close to real, especially if you add a filter afterwards.
What makes the MEMES app useful is that you don't have to go looking for useful memes, because the app lets you create personal ones on the spot. Scroll through the archive of countless popular memes, then add your own text to the image.
- Install MEMES for Android
- No iOS version yet
While you can always open these apps to send them through Messenger, there's an easier way to do so. When in a Messenger conversation, select the three-dot icon and you'll see a list of installed "for Messenger" apps, as well as the ones you haven't installed.
You can also save your content and share it in other ways, like through email or text, just by tapping and holding on the content in your Messenger conversation and selecting "Save."
In all honesty, I was never really into Facebook Messenger (especially after being forced to install it just to correspond with FB friends on my phone), but these third-party apps have definitely swayed me into utilizing the service more frequently.
What are your favorite apps for Messenger? Or do you think this is just some nonsense that you'll never use?