12 Facebook Messenger tricks and games

12 Facebook Messenger tricks and games

It turns out there are a bunch of hidden stuff that you can do in Facebook Messenger beyond instant messaging. From playing basquetball to requesting an Uber and playing chess, here is a round up list to get the most out of the Zuckerberg's messaging app: 

1. Play Facebook Messenger's hidden basketball game 

Facebook has rolled out an update to Messenger that lets you play a basketball mini-game with your friend directly from the conversation window. To get started, you need to select the basketball emoji, send it to a friend, and then tap on the emoji to load the game.

You'll get a basketball located at different positions at the bottom of the screen, and you have to swipe up to put the ball in the hoop. The goal is to score consecutive baskets, which gets challenging after you hit 10 points, as that's when the backboard starts moving.

2. There’s a standalone website for Messenger : Messenger.com

Unlike having two different mobile apps, the two different websites make more sense. For example, you can keep chatting with your friends at work without the distraction of your news feed. The interface is minimal and clean — similar to the app but expanded. For each conversation, there’s a sidebar where you can mute notifications for that person, access a call or video chat and see photos you’ve shared with each other.

3. Request an Uber

You can do away with your Uber app, and call a car through Messenger. From within a conversation, select the "More" icon indicated by three little dots and tap "Transportation." You can log in and request an Uber from there. Like the Uber app, you’ll receive updates on your driver’s status, notify friends, track the ride and pay for it.

4. Make a payment

There are a few popular apps that let you pay your friends without any cash, but that means downloading yet another app. If you don’t have anymore room on your phone for Venmo, Messenger is an alternative, in case you don’t plan on deleting the app anytime soon.

5. Send your location

Similar to dropping a pin in Apple Maps, you can send your location — or any location — in a message. Select a conversation, tap the More icon, click location, then you can search a place and send it.

6. Send GIFs

Tap More at the bottom of a conversation screen, and you’ll see a list of different apps you can install. You’ll see GIPHY as one option, and you can tap the INSTALL button, which will bring you to the App Store; download it as you normally would. Once installed, you can select the GIF icon at the bottom of a conversation to search and send GIFs directly in Messenger.

7. You don’t need Facebook to use Messenger

Anyone with a phone number can access Messenger and its features, even if you don't have a Facebook account. All you have to do is download the app, and you can select “Not on Facebook?” You can sign up from there.

8. Mute notifications

You can silence specific conversations by tapping the name at the top of the message. In the drop-down screen of options, tap Notifications and select the period of time you want to mute it — like fifteen minutes, one hour, eight hours, 24 hours or indefinitely until you turn notifications back on.

You can also turn off notifications entirely: go into your device's main settings menu, from there scroll down to the apps menu, select Messenger and uncheck the "show notifications" box. This disables push notifications but doesn't get rid of the chat heads, which must be turned off from within the app. Open Messenger's settings menu, select "Notifications" -> "Chat Heads" -> "Off".

9. Pin a group conversation for easy access

If you chat with the same group of people all the time, you can pin the conversation so you don’t have to scroll through to find it. Tap the Groups button at the bottom of the app, and you’ll see a Pin button in the top left corner. You can select the conversation you want to add, and you can assign a name to it. You can also add a photo as the group avatar by tapping on the camera button.

10. Share photos instantly with facial recognition

Messenger’s Photo Magic feature uses facial recognition to make it easier to send photos to your friends. When the feature is on, the app will notify you to share photos when it detects a new picture with a friend in your camera roll. To enable it, click the settings gear icon on the bottom right, select Photos & Media and then Photo Magic, and switch the toggle on.

11. Customize your message threads with emoji

Change up your conversations with different people by changing the way the threads look. When you’re in a conversation, hit your friend’s name at the top of the screen, and you’ll see options for nicknames, color and emoji. The color will change the outline of icons as well as the chat bubbles.

12. Play chess within Facebook Messenger

the messaging service has a hidden chess game that you can play from within a conversation window. All you need to do to get started is use the following command: @fbchess play.

It looks like the game has been available for at least a month now. The game is text-driven, which means that you're going to have to use algebraic chess notation. Here's a quick guide, as detailed by Facebook:

  • Start game with random colors: @fbchess play
    Pick the colors: @fbchess play white/black
    Pick the opponent: @fbchess play white John
  • Make a move: use Standard Algebraic Notation
    @fbchess e4 or @fbchess Pe4 moves pawn to e4
    Nbd2 to move knight from b-file to d2
    B2xc5 to take on c5 with 2nd rank bishop
    e8=Q to promote pawn to queen
    0-0-0 or O-O to castle
  • Claim draw (e.g. 3-fold repetition): @fbchess draw claim
  • Offer a draw in the current position: @fbchess draw offer
  • Offer an undo of the last move: @fbchess undo
  • Resign: @fbchess resign

Sources: Android Central and Mashable

Published on: March 2016
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