Count on the broadest range of innovative laptops, 2-in-1s, portable All-in-Ones, and phones that you can use like a PC. Expect long-lasting batteries, faster processors, and high-resolution displays.
- Share money, music, and more with friends through the integration of third party services like PayPal and Spotify.
- Customize how you interact with the app by browsing for bots in the vast Discover section
- Engage in phone calls, video calls, online messaging, and SMS all through one app
- Offers a pretty staggering number of communication features
- The inclusion of bots makes the Messenger experience highly modular
- Huge Facebook install base improves its sustainability as a chat platform
- Many users have concerns about Facebook's terms of service in regards to their privacy, a concern amplified by the sheer breadth of communications that can happen in Messenger
- Requires a separate and irritating download apart from the standard Facebook app
Since the early days of the internet, direct communication has long been one of the most enticing selling points of the technology. In the decades since dial-up modems, chat interfaces have come a long way from the early days of IRC chats and primitive message boards. In the same way that Facebook has dominated traditional social media platforms, they've also extended their reach into messaging apps. Facebook's Messenger is a versatile chat platform that offers most of the key features users could hope for. In fact, the functionality available through Messenger is strong enough that it could effectively replace most of your traditional communications services, winnowing your conversations and contacts down to a central hub app. The core experience allows you to chat with your friends on Facebook, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. You can also make outgoing domestic or international calls directly through messenger, and since these calls can be made over WiFi, there's no need to worry about extra fees for international calls. One could conceivably strip out their phone plan altogether, though this would be a limiting option. Users can also synch up their phone number to let messenger handle all of their SMS texts. Selfies taken through Messenger can be assigned playful filters and effects, and one-on-one and group video chats are both available. If these features sound familiar, it's because they are, and there are usually popular apps devoted just to them. Skype handles video calls, WhatsApp works as an SMS service, and Snapchat allows the automatic filtering, masking, and sharing of photo selfies and video selfies; but while many of these services do these things better, Facebook does them generally well enough. This sort of swiss army knife utility makes an intriguing way to access a wide range of social and conversational options without having to fill your phone with social apps and maintain a collection of account information and passwords. One of the boldest changes to Messenger is the inclusion of bots. As with most of the Messenger functions, bots aren't exclusive to Facebook's chat platform, but the scale on which they are implementing them is. Over 100,000 bots are available through Messenger, and that number is growing everyday. Bots are basically small quasi-artificial intelligences scripted to help with basic tasks like checking the weather or booking reservations at a restaurant. Unlike traditional apps, there's no need to download or run software here. Bots are essentially automated friends on your friends list who respond to specified queries. Facebook has dedicated an entire Discover section to Messenger that essentially works as a storefront for bots that can then be integrated into your friend's list, and a huge number of businesses both big and small are getting into the action. As bot programming becomes more interesting, they become capable of generally interesting things, but the market is flooded with bots that are overly specialized, redundant, or just shoddily built. Messenger does a lot, and it does it all adequately. This makes it a great all in one platform for a range of different needs. But for users in need of more specialized interactions, they might consider other apps that fulfill some of Messenger's redundancies more effectively.