Facebook is a social network, an all-consuming hole, the cause for a lot of drama, and possibly an excellent tool in helping you make poor relationship decisions when you are drunk. It is also one of the best ways to keep in touch with what happens in the lives of friends and family members. Despite the negativity that some would associate it with it, Facebook is a great communication tool because everyone is on Facebook, everyone. One very popular Facebook feature is chat and such is its popularity that Facebook has a dedicated Messenger app for your smartphone. Facebook released a new version of its Messenger app a few days ago and it greatly improves the chatting experience for iPhone users. Users can now create groups and forward messages as well as pictures received from one friend to the other.
Create Chat Groups
Tap the new Groups tab to view groups. A group must have at least three people in it; tap Start a new Group and enter a name for the group. Select friends to add to the group and choose an image from your photos, or take one using the camera, or search for an image online using the in-built browser (the default search engine is set to Bing). Once you’re done adding friends, tap Create and you’re done. All groups that you create are ‘Pinned’ in the groups tab. To understand the difference, or indeed the usefulness of pinning a group, we should first get into what the difference between these and other group is. When you add friends to a new group, they will know you added them to it.
You could always see the chat groups that you had created from your desktop in the app and you could chat with the group as well. These seemingly new groups are more or less the same as those groups in function. The difference is that these groups are like ‘speed –dial’ for group chat with friends that you often chat with using the app. Pinning them means you will see them in the groups tab and can start a conversation quickly. The other groups remain in the ‘Recent’ tab, they have no name (unless given by you later) and you will likely have to search for them to continue a conversation with that group. Fortunately, you can name these groups and pin them simply by tapping ‘Pin’ on the Groups tab and selecting the group from the existing group conversations.
Forwarding Messages & Pictures
The new forward feature is simple to use; tap and hold the message or the image you want to forward and you will see ‘Forward’ in the message’s options. Tapping Forward opens your friends list (which includes groups) and you can select who you want to forward the message or image to. It will ask for a confirmation before forwarding the message.
Both new features will make Messenger a better messaging app. The group feature should be received well because the Contact app in iOS doesn’t let you create groups with this kind of flexibility and iMessages does not support anything like this. Forwarding is perhaps not a big deal as far as text based chat messages are concerned but for pictures, it will again prove useful. What surprises me is that the app doesn’t also suggest groups based on the lists that you’ve created.