3 Big Ways Facebook Is Changing Messenger

Photo via Facebook.
This week Facebook is holding its annual developer conference, F8. While the event is primarily geared toward developers, introducing new tools and features they can implement in their products, there’s also some news that’s important to those of us who just obsess over use Facebook on the regular. This year, the site has made some big (and awesome) changes to its chatting platform, Messenger.

Facebook is opening up Messenger to third-party developers with Messenger Platform. Right now 40 different apps are adding native Messenger integration, but we’ll see even more in the future.

What does this mean? In a play to entice users from other messaging networks like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger is going to involve far more than just sending texts and photos back and forth. Here’s what we’re most excited about. 

1. Real-Time Shopping Support
With partners like Everlane, you can get real-time updates about online purchases. Once you place an order, a receipt with a picture of your order gets sent to you over Facebook Messenger, and then you can get up-to-the-minute messages on its shipping status. Everyone knows who you are, so if you buy one item, then want to buy something else, you can easily add an item to your order — straight from Messenger. This will launch in the next few weeks with partners like Everlane and Zulily.

2. Now You Can Send GIFs 
Perhaps the most important result of this: the ability to send GIFs in Messenger. You can send them using an app like JibJab and Imgur. Just find the GIF, click the “Send to Messenger” button, and you’re popped back into the Messenger app interface with the GIF pasted right in. All you have to do is hit send. Our Messenger conversations just got way more epic. 
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3. …And All Sorts Of Other Things

You can send way more than just GIFs, though. You can also send customized videos, animations, and music. One example, Ditty, sounds like a fun way to share messages in a musical way: After you type a short message (70 characters or less), you can pick a song, and the app creates a unique lyrics video that you can send, singing your message to the tune of that song. The result seems absolutely hilarious. 
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