Facebook has just updated its Messenger app for iOS and has added a handful of features that takes it beyond a simple messaging app.
Firstly, the update sees the addition of 3D Touch support. Introduced on the iPhone 6s, 3D Touch allows users to interact with the screen in more specific ways. In this version 52.0 update, users can push down on the Messenger icon and be presented with a few quick start options, firstly to start a new message, and three more to start messages with most recent or most talked to friends.
Transportation on Messenger
Facebook has also introduced transportation on Messenger. It allows users to request rides from car services without leaving the Messenger app – or even a conversation.
Uber is the first (and only current) partner. If users are in a conversation and an address is entered they can tap on the address, tap ‘request a ride’, and Uber will open within Messenger, where users can view updates on the drivers location and status. You can see how it works in the video below…
Ever since the likes of Whatsapp became popular (which Facebook acquired for $19 billion in 2014) Facebook has been keen to position its built in messaging system on its social network as a standalone messaging app on the iPhone and iPad.
In April 2014 they forced users to start using Messenger as a separate app, splitting out messaging functionality from the core Facebook app.
With the addition of Uber calling, it’s clear that Facebook is planning on adding more functionality in the future to create an app just as full as the main app, but without the huge bloat that would come from unifying the two.
Further updates include being able to message people in your phone book and entering a phone number to add a new contact. Additionally, users will also see snowflakes fall across the screen when they send of receive winter related emojis and stickers.
For more information, go to Messenger’s App Store page.