Facebook Messenger has released a new feature called shortcuts using commands in the messaging service. Users of iOS and Android smartphones can now issue commands in the chat window, such as notifying everyone in a group or sending a message silently without notifying other users. They can also send GIFs and ASCII emoticons to Facebook Messenger. The new features are reminiscent of the now defunct MSN Messenger’s hidden ‘Easter Egg’ command and are designed to make things easier in Messenger by using one-word commands.
The meta-owned messaging service announced Tuesday that it is introducing shortcuts to Facebook Messenger on Android and iOS, which will be available from today. Using the shortcut feature, users can now type @everyone to send a notification to all users in the chat. The command can be used to draw the attention of group members as a message asking a question or as a reminder for an old message.
Users can use shortcuts in Messenger using the / silent command without informing the user or group. Messages sent using this command will not notify the user about the message, which can be useful when sending messages to different time zones without disturbing friends. The ability to send silent messages without disturbing the recipient is also available in the rival messaging service Telegram, which introduced the feature in 2019.
It should be noted that some of the Facebook Messenger features announced earlier this year have not yet been enabled for all users of the service. In January, the company announced an upgraded messaging experience for users in its secret conversation mode, which uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for chat. These features include screenshot alerts, emoji responses and vanish mode, announced before the company’s planned date to use E2EE for all chats in Messenger.
Asked about delays in rolling out these features, Messenger chief Lredana Chrisan told Gadgets360 that some of these features are being tested by the company for stability before launching in all regions.
According to the company, from today, both / silent and veryeveryone shortcuts will be available for Facebook Messenger users on iOS and Android devices. In the meantime, the company is also working to add the ability to search and send GIFs to users and groups in Messenger using the / gif command. Users will also be able to use the / shrug and / tableflip commands to send tableflip “(╯ ° □ °） ┻━┻” and shrug “¯_ (ツ) _ / ¯” emoticons in Messenger.
These three commands will be available to users on iOS devices next week. Messenger users in the United States will also be able to send and receive money using future / pay commands, the company said.