Facebook Messenger: These new features will change the way you chat

The new features were introduced this week and are available for to users on iOS and Android

Meta, parent company of Facebook, has introduced new features to the Messenger app. Called ‘Shortcuts’, the new additions will make it possible for users to issue commands such as silently sending a message while in a group chat.

Silent replies

The update also means Android and iOS users of the app can send commands in chats to give members of a group a heads-up about an issue by tagging @everyone. In a post announcing these features, Meta explained how this works:

When you start a message with @everyone, all participants in the chat will be notified. @everyone is perfect for group reminders, impromptu get-togethers [...] This way, your message gets maximum exposure, and nobody misses out.

This feature may be new on Messenger, but Slack users would be more familiar with it. Users can also use this feature when they need to notify a group member about something, or as a reminder for an earlier message in the chat.

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Welcomed silence

If you are worried about that overzealous group member who also has something to share with the group, well, there’s the option to send out these notifications without pinging the group (do encourage everyone to use, for your own sanity). Meta said in the blog:

When you use /silent (also available on Instagram as “@silent”), the members of your chat will not receive a notification of your message at all. Sending a message with /silent removes the anxiety of interrupting someone with a non-urgent pop-up notification or disturbing them during their off hours.

Users can also now send GIFs on the messaging app by searching for the related topic by using the /gifs shortcut. However, this particular feature is yet to be available to iOS users.

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