CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Mobile

10 hidden Facebook Messenger tips

You can play games, send money and a whole lot more.

Facebook's Messenger app has a surprising number of hidden features. Here are 10 to get you started on your way to being a power user. 

1. Create your own chatbot

You probably already know that you can talk to a Facebook chatbot, but you can also make your own... sort of.

If you have a Facebook page, go to the page's Settings and select Messaging. Then, go down to Response Assistant and click on Send Instant Replies to anyone who messages your Page. Here you can set up what your bot will tell people when they send you a message, either through Messenger or on Facebook.

facebook-messenger-bot-reply-2.jpg

Make your own bot.

Alina Bradford/CNET

2. Create a shortcut

Keep your BFF handy by creating a shortcut to your chat. Go to the main menu and hold your finger down on your friend's photo. A menu will pop up. Choose Create shortcut from the menu. An icon will be added to your device's home screen so you can start a chat with your friend without even opening Messenger.

3. Make a short video

Instead of sending a picture, send a video. Just hold down the shutter button and it will record whatever your camera is pointing at. When you're done, let go of the shutter button and tap the Send button. Your videos can be up to 15 seconds long.

You can add a little extra to your videos using the filter, font and drawing tools at the top of the screen before you hit send.

1-newsroom-hero-messenger-video-chat-copy

Facebook adds filters, mask and animated reactions to Messenger video chat. 

Facebook

5. Change your like button

If a thumbs-up just isn't your style, you can change your like button to whatever you want. Go into a chat and tap the circle with an "i" in it. Then, tap on the Emoji option. A menu will pop up with a variety of emojis you can use instead of the standard like emoji. You can change the emoji in every chat session, so the emoji will fit the person you're messaging.

By clicking on the same circle, you can also access other options, like changing your chat buddy's name to a silly nickname.

Whether you stick with the thumbs-up emoji or pick something a little more custom, you can also show the person you message how you feel in a big way. In the Messenger app, hold your finger down on the emoji and it will grow. When it's the size you want, lift your finger and the emoji will be sent.

make-emojis-bigger-in-messenger-2.jpg

Make your emojis huge.

Alina Bradford/CNET

6. Play a game and a bunch more

If you're looking for some fun, tap the plus icon while in a conversation, then tap the Games icon. You can choose to challenge your friend to dozens of games and Messenger will even keep score so you can come back to the game later.

The plus icon also takes you to options to share your location, send money, share your calendar and more. You can also tap the plus icon and scroll down to Extensions to download extras like access to Giphy, Apple Music and more.

facebook-juevos-messenger-1.png

Challenge your friend to some games.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

7. Share your Messenger code

Your Messenger has its own QR code that you can share with others. Sharing the code will add you to their contacts list. If you scan their code, it will add them to yours, too.

Click on the Profile icon in the upper right-hand side of the main Messenger page on the app. Then tap on your photo. The app will give you the choice of scanning someone else's code or sharing your own. To scan someone's code, tap on Scan Code and hold your phone's camera over the other person's phone until their Messenger QR code is recognized. They will need to share their code while you are doing the scan for it to work.

messenger-code

Share your code to get more friends to talk to.

Alina Bradford/CNET

8. Automatically save photos

If you want to automatically save photos to your device's gallery whenever someone sends you a pic, you can. Click on the Profile icon in the upper right-hand side of the main Messenger page on the app. Then tap on Photos & Media. Toggle the switch next to Save Photos and all photos sent to you through Messenger will be saved in your device's gallery. Toggle on Save on Capture to save photos you take using Messenger to your gallery.

9. Find hidden message requests

When people you aren't friends with send you a message, it's put in a special folder. Sometimes this can cause you to miss an important message because Messenger won't always alert you. To find the folder, go to the app's home, tap on the Menu icon and tap on Message Requests.

10. Have a secret conversation

Messenger has end-to-end encryption to keep your most secret conversations under wraps. These conversations are called Secret Conversations. You can learn more about turning on and Using Secret Conversations here.

secret-conversations.png

Secret Conversation's end-to-end encryption helps keep your Messenger convos safe.

Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Update, Oct. 12, 2017: This article was originally posted on July 28, 2016 and has since been updated.

Facebook Stories: 10 things to know about the Snapchat-like feature.