How to Add Anyone to Facebook Messenger

You don't even have to be Facebook friends first

What To Know

  • For friends, open Messenger > Compose Message, type the contact name and message > Send.
  • If not friends, open Messenger, select your profile pic, find your username link > Share Link. Choose a way to share.
  • For phone contacts, open Chats in Messenger, and select People and Upload Contacts.

This article covers how to message both people you are and aren't friends with on Facebook Messenger as well as the contacts from your phone and people physically nearby. The information here applies to Messenger on iOS and Android devices.

You're Already Friends on Facebook

Facebook friends are automatically added to the Messenger app when you sign in to Messenger with your Facebook account login details. To start a conversation with a Facebook friend in Messenger:

  1. Open Messenger.

  2. From the Chats screen, tap the Compose Message icon on the top right. (This is shown as a square with a pencil in iOS apps and a pencil in the Android app.)

  3. Type or select a contact's name.

  4. Type your message in the text at the bottom.

  5. Tap the Send icon.

    Facebook Messenger App on a smartphone

You're Not Facebook Friends, But They Use Messenger

If you're not already friends on Facebook but you both use Messenger, exchange username links so you can communicate on Messenger. To send your username link:

  1. Open Messenger and tap your profile picture in the top left corner of the screen.

  2. Scroll down to find your username link.

    A profile screen and options in Messenger app for iOS
  3. Tap your username link and then tap Share Link from the list of options that appears.

  4. Select how you want to share your username link (text, email, etc.) and send it to the person you want to add on Messenger.

  5. When your recipient clicks on your username link, their Messenger app will open with your user listing and they can add you immediately.

  6. The recipient would then tap Add on Messenger and you will receive a connection request to add them back.

They're Stored in Your Device's Contacts

Sync your mobile contacts with Messenger to communicate with them in the app. To do this, turn on Contact Uploading in Messenger.

  1. From Chats, tap your profile picture in the top left corner.

  2. Tap People.

  3. Tap Upload Contacts to turn on continuous uploading of your mobile contacts.

    Preferences screen and People settings on the Messenger app for iOS

    If you turn off Upload Contacts, the contacts you've uploaded to Messenger will automatically be deleted

You Know Their Phone Number

If you prefer not to sync your contacts with Messenger, or you have someone's phone number written down, but they are not stored in your device's contacts, add them to Messenger with their phone number.

The person must confirm their phone number in Messenger for you to be able to add them as a contact via their phone number.

  1. From Chats, tap the People icon in the bottom menu.

  2. Tap the Add People icon in the top right of the screen.

  3. Tap Add icon.

  4. When prompted, select Enter Phone Number.

    Add Contacts options and phone number entry in the Messenger app for iOS
  5. Enter their phone number and tap Save. You'll be shown the corresponding Messenger user listing if Messenger detects one from the phone number you entered.

  6. Tap Add on Messenger to add them. 

Meet Up in Person

If you're with someone and you want to add each other on Messenger, use any of the above options or take advantage of Messenger's user code feature (Messenger's version of a QR code), which makes adding people in person quick and painless.

  1. Open Messenger and tap your profile picture in the top left corner.

  2. Your user code is represented by the unique blue lines and dots that encircle your profile picture.

  3. Have your friend open Messenger and navigate to the People tab.

  4. Have your friend tap the Add icon and then tap Scan Code.

    Add Contacts screen and camera option in the Messenger app for iOS

    They might need to configure their device settings to give Messenger permission to access the camera.

  5. Have your friend hold their camera over your device with your user code open to automatically scan it and add you to Messenger. You'll receive a connection request to add them back.

  • How do I deactivate Facebook Messenger?

    The only way to deactivate Messenger is to deactivate your Facebook account. However, you can hide your online status: Tap your profile picture, select Active Status, and turn off Show When You're Active and Show When You're Active Together.

  • How do I delete Facebook Messenger messages?

    To delete Facebook Messenger messages in the Messenger app, tap a conversation, then tap and hold a message > select Remove > Remove for You. To delete a conversation, tap and hold a conversation > Delete.

  • What is Vanish Mode on Facebook Messenger?

    Vanish Mode is an opt-in feature of Facebook Messenger that allows you to send messages, photos, etc., that disappear after the recipient views them and closes the chat window. Vanish Mode isn’t available for group chats. If anyone screenshots a Vanish Mode message, the other user will be alerted.

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