This past July, Facebook announced that its Messenger app had reached over one billion users. Perhaps in an effort to maintain this popularity, Facebook has been testing out several new Messenger features with users around the world.
Arguably the most groan-worthy change is the introduction of “Messenger Day” to select users in Poland and Australia. Messenger Day is a temporary content sharing tool within the Messenger app that follows in the footsteps of Snapchat Stories and its Instagram clone. Like Snapchat Stories, Messenger Day allows users to decorate their photos and videos with stickers and doodles. However, users may be disappointed to find that the tool does not offer face filters à la Snapchat (i.e. no vomiting rainbows). The feature is unique in that it allows users to link video and photos within their 24-hour “stories”.
The most recent change to Messenger is the testing of “conversation topics”, which offer information on your friends’ most recent activity on Facebook to spark related Messenger conversations. The activity that is shared includes songs that users have recently listened to on streaming services, Facebook events they have expressed interests in, and places they have recently visited. For example, Messenger “conversation topics” may share that your friend recently attended a showing of Hamilton, in hopes that you will start a conversation with your supposed “friend” expressing exactly how jealous you are. These conversation prompts allow you to better connect with old and new friends by basically providing a stripped-down News Feed to update you on what’s going on in their lives.
Facebook hasn’t released any information on whether or when these updates will be available to all Messenger users. While these updates seem promising enough, we’re not too excited by them. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!