Social Media Facebook Facebook Messenger: Everything You Need to Know Text, call, share pictures and videos, send money and play games by Elise Moreau Freelance Contributor Elise Moreau is a writer that has covered social media, texting, messaging, and streaming for Lifewire. Her work has appeared on Techvibes, SlashGear, Lifehack and others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Elise Moreau Updated on October 23, 2020 reviewed by Michael Barton Heine Jr Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Michael Heine is a CompTIA-certified writer, editor, and Network Engineer with 25+ years' experience working in the television, defense, ISP, telecommunications, and education industries. our review board Article reviewed on Mar 07, 2020 Michael Barton Heine Jr Facebook Facebook Flipboard Pinterest Twitter Snapchat Instagram YouTube Online Dating Tweet Share Email Messenger, an instant messaging service owned by Facebook, launched in August 2011, replacing Facebook Chat. You don't need a Facebook account to use Messenger. While the two are partially connected when you have a Facebook account, you aren't required to have one to use Messenger. Bailey Mariner / Lifewire How to Access Facebook Messenger Messenger can be used in conjunction with Facebook on your computer, at Messenger.com or accessed using the mobile Messenger app on Android and iOS devices. Because Messenger works on iPhones, it also works on the Apple Watch. Even though Messenger is easily accessible through the Messenger website, your Facebook account on your computer, and the mobile apps, you can install add-ons in some browsers for faster access. These add-ons are not official Facebook apps. They're third-party extensions that non-Facebook developers released for free. For example, Firefox users can put Messenger on the side of their screens and use it while on other websites, in a split-screen fashion, with the Messenger for a Facebook add-on. You don't have to have a Facebook account to use Messenger so it's available for individuals who haven't signed up for Facebook or have closed down their accounts. Send Text, Pictures, and Video At its core, Messenger is a texting app for both one-on-one and group messaging, but it can also send images and video. Messenger also includes lots of built-in emojis, stickers, and GIFs. Some useful features included in Messenger is its typing indicator to see when a person is typing, delivered receipts, read receipts, and a timestamp for when the message was sent, with another for when the recipient read the most recent one. Much like on Facebook, Messenger lets you react to messages on both the website and app. Another great thing about sharing images and videos through Messenger is that the app and website collect all the media files so you can quickly sift through them. If you're using Messenger with your Facebook account, any private Facebook message appears in Messenger. You can delete these texts as well as archive and unarchive the messages to hide or show them from constant view. Make Voice or Video Calls Messenger also supports audio and video calls from both the mobile app, the desktop Messenger website, and the Facebook site. The phone icon is for audio calls, while the camera icon makes face-to-face video calls. If you're using Messenger's calling features on Wi-Fi, you can use the app or website to make free internet calls. Send Money Messenger functions as a simple way to send money to people using just your debit card information. You can do this from both the website and the mobile app. Use the Send Money button from a computer, or the Payments button in the app, to send or ask for money. Alternatively, you can send a text with a price in it and then click it to open the prompt to pay or request payment. You can even add a short memo to the transaction so you can remember its purpose. Play Games Messenger lets you play games within the app or Messenger.com website, even while in a group message. You don't have to download another app or visit another website to start playing with other Messenger users. Share Your Location Instead of using a dedicated app to show someone where you are, you can let recipients follow your location for up to an hour with Messenger's built-in location-sharing feature, which only works from the mobile app. Facebook Messenger Features Although Messenger doesn't have a calendar, it does let you create event reminders through the Reminders button on the mobile app. Another neat way to do it is to send a message that contains a reference to a day, and the app automatically asks you if you want to make a reminder. Like many other apps, Facebook Messenger has a dark mode. From within a message in the mobile app, Messenger lets you request a ride from your Lyft or Uber account. The name of a group message can be customized, as can the nickname of the people involved. The color theme of each conversation thread can even be modified as well. Audio clips can be sent through Messenger if you'd like to send a message without having to text or make a full audio call. Notifications can be silenced on a per-conversation basis for a specified number of hours or completely turned off, both for the desktop version of Messenger and through the mobile app. Add new Messenger contacts by inviting contacts from your phone or, if you're on Facebook, your Facebook friends. There's also a custom Scan Code you can grab from within the app and share with others, who can then scan your code to add you to their Messenger instantly.