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Facebook Messenger adds new Birthday-Themed features to mark its 10th anniversary

Social media giant, Facebook announced that its first messaging app, Messenger will get a slew of new features, including poll games, word effects, contact sharing, and birthday gifting via Facebook Pay as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Aside from the fun features, Facebook has been developing a technique to bring voice and video conversations back to the Facebook app instead of using Messenger.


Several of Messenger’s existing features, such as birthday soundmoji, AR effects, stickers, chat themes, and other effects, will now be available in “birthday” variants. Users will also be able to give cash to pals as a “birthday present” using Facebook Pay, which works similarly to previous Messenger payments but includes some unique festive animations.


With “poll games,” the app is also introducing a new form of mini-game to chats. Friends in group threads can participate in amusing polls asking which member of the chat is “most likely” to do things like miss a flight or fight zombies. Messenger also announced a new “word effects” feature that will be available “soon,” allowing users to couple an emoji with a specific word or phrase to activate an in-chat animation akin to iMessage’s digital effects.


Facebook stated “We’re testing audio and video calls within the Facebook app messaging experience so people can make and receive calls no matter which app they’re using,” says the company. “This will make it simple for people on Facebook to connect with their existing communities.”


“We’ve been focused more on real-time experiences like Watch Together, Rooms, Live Audio Rooms, and we’ve started to think of Messenger as a connective tissue regardless of the surface,” Facebook continued. “This is a test, but the wider objective is for us to unlock content and groups that aren’t available in Messenger and for the Facebook app to become more about shared real-time experiences.”


The updates demonstrate how much Messenger has evolved over the last ten years. The application, which was first released in 2011, has gone from being a simple chat app to one that has been changed at least three times in the last two years. Many of Facebook’s more ambitious, if not always successful, features have been housed there throughout the years. Although the Messenger app used to be a stand-alone experience on Facebook, the company now sees Messenger as more of an underlying technology that can help fuel many of the new experiences the company is building.


During a conference call with journalists, Vice president at Messenger Stan Chudnovsky indicated that the rollout of encryption as a default is taking longer than expected, in part due to the app’s large number of features. “We need to rebuild all of these features in an end-to-end encrypted environment and make them fully capable,” he said, stressing that Messenger is still introducing new features regularly. “It’s almost as if we’re striving to catch up with ourselves all the time.”



1.    Poll Games With “Games Most Likely To” Play

Users can now play “Most likely to” in polls to find out what their friends truly think about issues such as “who is most likely to spend money on new shoes?” and “who is most likely to fight aliens?” You can even make up your prompts, such as “most likely to stay awake all night?” etc. To play a poll game in your group chat, go to Polls and select the “Most likely to” tab to choose a question and conversation users’ names to be included as potential answers.


2.    Using Facebook Pay To Give Birthday Money

Messenger is providing a new way to receive financial gifts straight through the app in the United States. You’ll be notified on Messenger and Facebook when a friend offers you a financial present for your birthday, with their gift message wrapped and surrounded by virtual balloons. The cash gift will be put into your bank account as soon as you confirm your Facebook Pay details. Go to the Facebook mobile app and hit the button that displays alongside your friend’s birthday postings in your Facebook News Feed or their profile to send a birthday cash gift.


3.    Expressions For A Birthday

Try the new Birthday chat theme and our specially curated “Messenger is 10!” sticker pack to get in the party mood. Users can also utilize Soundmoji to send a pleasant birthday song and use a Message Effect to add confetti to joyous messages or even tie it up with a bow.


4.    A New Way To Exchange Contact Information

The more the merrier when it comes to parties! Messenger is also adding a new feature that allows users to exchange Facebook contacts with their friends directly from the program. Simply choose the contact you’d like to share, go to the chat settings, then tap Share Contact under the More Actions section.


5.    Word Effects Can Be Used To Personalize Conversations

Word Effects is a new approach for users and their friends to couple words with emojis that have meaning for them. When these words are used in a chat, the selected emoji will appear on the user’s screen. It’s a great method to bring up inside jokes, revisit memories, and make beloved phrases even more enjoyable.


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