How to Use Facebook Messenger for iPhone

Contact your Facebook friends on the go with the Messenger app for iOS

hand holding iPhone with Facebook Messenger on the screen

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The Facebook Messenger app for iPhone, iPad, ​and iPod Touch devices is more than a chat app. Use the Messenger app to access your Facebook messages on your mobile devices to read and reply to messages and to post images, videos, and voice messages.

Instructions in this article apply to the Messenger app on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices running iOS 9.0 or later.

Install the Facebook Messenger App

If the Facebook Messenger app isn't installed on your device, go to the App Store and download it.

  1. Tap the App Store icon on your iPhone.

  2. Select Search.

  3. In the Search box, enter Messenger.

  4. In the results list, tap either Messenger or Facebook Messenger

  5. Tap Get to download the free Messenger app to your iPhone.

    Search, Messenger, Get buttons in iOS App Store
  6. Open the Messenger app and enter your Facebook username and password in the fields provided.

    If the Facebook app is installed on your phone, you are asked if you want to use the same Facebook credentials with Messenger.

  7. The Facebook Messenger app syncs with Facebook Messages at the Facebook website and loads your conversations.

Scroll Through Your Facebook Conversations

When you open the Messenger app, the icons of Facebook user profiles appear at the top of the Messages screen. Below the icons, you'll find the complete list of Facebook users with whom you have exchanged messages. Each name includes the date and the first line of the last message. If the person is currently available in Messenger, a green dot appears next to the name.

If the person you want to chat with is not online, your message is saved and delivered the next time the recipient is on Facebook.

Chats, specific conversation, chat interface in Facebook Messenger

To find someone, navigate through your contacts list. Either swipe up to scroll through your conversations or type a name in the search field at the top of the screen.

Send a Facebook Message

Tap a name to open the conversation and see the messages contained in the conversation. There's also a field where you can enter a new message or response.

  1. Tap the conversation to open it.

  2. Type a message to continue where the chat left off.

  3. Select an icon next to the message input field to add a picture, insert a video, or record a voice message.

  4. Tap the smiley face in the response field to add a sticker, GIF, or emoji to the message.

    Emoji button, Money icon, Pay button in Facebook Messenger
  5. Tap the $ symbol to send or request money.

Start a New Message

If you want to chat with someone that you've never chatted with before, start a new conversation.

  1. Tap the Compose icon. It looks like a piece of paper with a pen over it.

  2. In the New Message screen, go to the To field and enter the name of the Facebook recipient for your message.

    As you type a name, the friend selections change and are based on the characters you type.

  3. Type your message.

    Search, contact, new message screen in Facebook Messenger
  4. Tap Return on the keyboard to send the message.

Make Phone and Video Calls

You can make both voice and video calls using the Facebook Messenger app. Tap your contact to open it in a screen and then select either the phone or the video icon to initiate a voice call or a video call. A green dot next to an icon indicates that the person is currently online. If you chose a video call, the iPhone camera is engaged in the video chat. You must allow Messenger to access the camera.

Play Messenger Games

Tap the four dots in a square at the bottom of the Messenger app to display your location, other app options, and a selection of games you can play with your friends through Messenger. The games include Words With Friends, Cookie Crush, Uno, Daily Sudoku, and others.

After you play one game, the entire library of games is unlocked. Each game has access to your public profile information and the people you know who also play the game. The game may send you messages containing tips or announcements.

Send Money Through Messenger

If you use a debit card or have a PayPal account, you can send money to one of your Facebook friends in Messenger. Open the person's conversation and tap the $ next to the message entry field. Then, tap Payments, enter the amount you want to send, attach a note, and tap the Pay button. Enter your payment information as directed. Your payment is on the way, and your friend is notified.

This feature is handy when friends want to split a bill at a restaurant or owe half the rent to a roommate. The service is free and secure. You can also use it to request a payment from someone.

Change Facebook Messenger App Settings

To change your Facebook Messenger app settings, tap your profile picture at the top of the app screen. Then, adjust notification settings, change your active status, enter a phone number, switch Facebook accounts, set preferences for Facebook Payments, sync contacts, invite people to Messenger, and much more.