April 28, 2014 4:52pm
Facebook Messenger just issued its biggest iOS update since redesigning the interface late last year.
Messenger 5.0 for iOS, currently in beta form on Android and scheduled to go public by the end of the week, adds a number of quick-access settings that make it easy to send a short video or sticker to a friend or group.
Videos now play in-line, which makes the app feel far more like a smaller-scale Facebook or Instagram. Facebook notes that many users are recording and sharing short videos with their contacts, much like they do in WhatsApp, so it’s interesting that this feature, among others, is duplicated across both apps.
Another addition, which Facebook hopes will make the company a bit more money, is quicker access to sticker purchases. Stickers sent to a user can be “pressed and held” for access to the whole pack. As Facebook’s sticker library grows, this action will make it far easier for users to quickly buy the same sticker pack their friends are using.
The full change log is below:
- More ways to message: Everything’s front and center, so it’s easier to send photos, voice messages and more.
- Video: Send videos from your phone’s camera roll and when people send you videos, play them right in the app.
- Instant photo sharing: Take a photo and send it in just one tap, without leaving the conversation.
- Shortcuts to stickers: When someone sends you a sticker, press and hold down on it to get the pack.
- Improved search: Enter the names of people and groups to find them quickly.
- Other fixes, including to stickers and groups.
Update: Facebook Messenger 5.0 for Android just hit the Play Store, bringing the same feature set you see above. Some features, like the ability to send videos straight from the camera roll, require Android 4.3 and above.