As announced today, Facebook Messenger is making group conversation more interactive and dynamic with the addition of two long-anticipated features. The billion-user-strong messaging app is adding ‘message reactions’ and ‘@mentions’ to make their platform not only more capable but also fun. And mind you, there are restricted to group conversations only.
Message Reactions, the name says it all. Facebook is porting over its News Feed reaction mechanism over to Messenger, but with a few minor changes. This feature will enable you to respond with emoji reactions to each individual message in a group conversation. You’ll just have to tap and hold the message you wanna add a reaction to.
Doing this will pop-up a strip of emojis, including everything from the love, sad or angry face to even like or dislike, appears above the said message and you can select any one to respond. And yes, surprisingly your prayers for a dislike button have finally been answered through this feature. But, since Facebook is shipping the reactions as the feature for ‘quickly showing acknowledgment or expressing how you feel in a lightweight way,’ thus the dislike is being referred to as No.
You will also be able to notice when someone reacts to any message in the group chat, thanks to a shiny blue animation (shown in the middle frame). Every message will get a counter in the lower corner of the message to display the number of reactions on it. You’ll be receiving notification for reactions on your messages, so it isn’t necessary to check back on older messages in a conversation. Also, it is possible to react to every type of message — be it text, stickers, videos, GIFs or even other emojis.
Further, Messenger is also providing you with another feature and this one is aimed towards directing messages to a singular person in the group conversation. We’re all aware with @mentions and now they’re available within Facebook Messenger. You just have to type ‘@’ symbol and start typing out a few letters of their name or nickname to select them from a suggestion list.
Once this message is sent, it will contain a highlighted (@name) text to make others in the group aware of the mention. But, to make the person being mentioned in the message aware of the same, Messenger will send specific notifications saying that xyz mentioned you in a group conversation. And you can jump right into the conversation to answer their query by @ mentioning them.
These new features were earlier being tested with select users of a particular demographic but will be rolling out to every Messenger user worldwide in the coming days. Facebook is pushing the update to both iOS and Android platforms at the same time. The group conversations for Work Chat in Workplace will also be jazzed up with these features. And if you are not satisfied with the same, you now also have the option to share your daily life on the messaging app using Messenger Day — the Snapchat clone.