Facebook Messenger may soon get new features including one potential game-changer

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20 Jul 2014
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It wasn’t too long ago that some users discovered that Facebook has been playing around with a Material Design revamp of their popular messaging app. But it seems like the social sultan isn’t stopping at aesthetics. The Facebook Messenger team is playing around with several new features, but only a handful of test users are seeing the changes right now.

First off, it looks like Messenger is getting the ability to support multiple accounts in-app. This comes on the heels of Instagram, a social media service also owned by Facebook, doing the same with their app. With these changes, users who have more than one Facebook account (for whatever reason) will be able to swap back and forth between their identities with just a couple of taps.

Second, it looks like they are playing around with SMS/MMS integration. Now, long ago in the Before Times, Messenger actually had the ability to support SMS and MMS messages, but Facebook wound up ripping the feature out because nobody was really using it. However, 2016 is a very different battleground for messaging apps, with several contenders competing to be the one messaging service to rule them all.

SMS messages appear in purple, and SMS conversations are separated from Messenger conversations.

Google Hangouts boldly integrated text messaging with their service, but it wound up not being as flexible and reliable as dedicated SMS/MMS platforms, and now it appears that they will soon be deactivating this feature. As it stands, Facebook has a pretty strong corner on the messaging market with both WhatsApp and Messenger topping global usage charts. If Messenger can effectively implement texting capabilities and pull users away from awesome dedicated apps like Textra, it might just be on its way to becoming the world’s default text communication service.

Which brings us to the Game Changer. Are you ready? Messenger may be receiving… blue Action and Status bars to replace the current ones. Boom.

Nah, I’m just kidding. Although it’s true that blue bars appear to be in the works, the big news here was the SMS integration, of course. Currently, only select users are seeing these changes, and there’s no way to toggle them on or off. Facebook appears to be field-testing all of these features to gauge user experience before they finalize any changes.

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