How to use Facebook's new Messenger sharing features

Facebook now lets you send content from other apps in your chats in Messenger. Here's how to do it.

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Facebook

Today at Facebook's developer conference, F8, the social network announced new ways to share via Messenger. The company built a sharing platform that lets outside apps share their content, such as videos, music and GIFs, through the Messenger apps, available for Android , Windows Phone and iOS. You'll be able to share with apps on iOS and Android, but it's unclear when this will be available on Windows Phone.

One of the first apps to take advantage of this is Ditty, which launches today and sends custom musical messages. You type in a message, pick a song, and the app sings your message to the tune of the song you chose.

JibJab, a GIF messaging app, is also partnering with Facebook to share through Messenger. Other apps that are using the sharing platform at launch are The Weather Channel, Fotor, Giphy, Bitmoji and ESPN, plus many more. For a full list, check out Facebook's developer site. Below, I'll give you a primer of how to use the new sharing features, available starting today.

Get sharing

First, you'll need to have one of the eligible apps installed on your phone. You can either just go straight to Google Play or the App Store, or you can check out the list of apps in Messenger. Just open a conversation and tap the More button on the menu bar (which looks like three dots) to see the list. Then you can tap any of the apps to hop over to your phone's app store to download it.

Once the app is installed, there are a few ways to share. I'll use Ditty as my example, but the process will be nearly identical with other apps.

Option one: Open a conversation in Messenger, and select Ditty from the menu bar toward the bottom of the screen. It's the same place where you can select stickers, emoji, photos and voice recordings to share in a conversation.

Ditty will automatically open, and you can create a new message by following the prompts on the screen. When you're done, tap the Messenger button to share your message, which will take you right back to your conversation. The message from Ditty will appear in line in the chat, where your recipient can view it just like any other message in Messenger.

Option two: Open Ditty and create a message. When you're done, tap the Messenger button, which will open that app. Pick one or more people to share your message with, and Messenger will send it to those people, either in an existing chat (if available) or a new one.

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Facebook

Option three: If someone has sent you a shared message in a chat, and you have the same app installed, you can simply tap the reply button in the chat to send a message back. You can see this example above.

This is the first time that Facebook is letting you share media from other apps into Messenger, and the process is seamless overall. In most cases, you'll need to tap the screen only once to share something to your Facebook chats. Facebook expects more apps to take advantage of this, so you may soon be able to share much more in a message than before.

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