Facebook Messenger Gets New Features for Its Birthday

Poll Games, Word Effects, birthday Soundmojis, and more

Facebook introduced a slew of new Messenger features on Wednesday for the app’s 10th birthday. 

New features include Poll Games, where you can decide who is most likely to do something in your group chats, an easy way to share Facebook contacts with friends, and new Word Effects. 

Facebook Messenger updates

Facebook

Facebook said Word Effects is a new way to pair words with the emojis that will fill your entire screen. The social network said this feature can be used for memories, inside jokes, lyrics, and more. 

And since Facebook is celebrating Messenger’s birthday, it also introduced some birthday-centric features to Messenger. These include birthday cash gifting using Facebook Pay and birthday expression tools like birthday augmented reality effects and 360 backgrounds, and a birthday song Soundmoji. 

When Facebook first debuted Messenger (then known as Facebook Chat) in 2008, it was simply an instant messaging platform before Facebook split it away in a separate app with a new name in 2011 as Facebook Messenger. Since then, it’s added a ton of features to the Messenger app, Dark Mode, Facebook Messenger Lite, and Messenger Kids. 

Facebook with 'Send Message' option displayed on a smartphone sitting next to a laptop computer.

Timothy Hales Bennett / Unsplash

Most recently, Facebook added the option to encrypt your voice and video calls through Facebook Messenger to make communication more private. The social network said it plans to extend the encryption feature to group chats in the future. 

According to Mobile Monkey, 1.3 billion people use Facebook Messenger a month, making it the second most popular messaging service behind WhatsApp’s 2.5 billion active users. However, both platforms are owned by Facebook, so it’s not really a competition. 

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