15 hidden Facebook Messenger tips

There are hidden Messenger games, fun emoji animations and more that you probably don't know about.

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Messenger has a lot of hidden features that you need to know to become a power user. Here are 13 to get you started on your way.

1. Catch a ride

You can even call for a ride through messenger. All you need to do is tap on the icon of the car in the chat menu. From there you can choose a ride from Uber or Lyft. If you want a friend to come pick you up, click on the Location icon and you can send your friend a map marked with your exact location.

2. 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.

3. Share songs

Sometimes words just won't express how you feel, so send them a song instead. Click the ... button on the right side of the menu when you're in a chat, install the Spotify app and login using Facebook. Then, tap on the ... button in chat again and tap on the Spotify option. Search for the song you want to share, tap on it and hit the Send button.


Sometimes a song says it all.

Alina Bradford/CNET

4. 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.

5. Send a flurry of hearts, balloons or snow

When you send someone the single heart emoji in Messenger for iOS it will rain hearts. If you send a single snowflake it will snow on the screen. A flurry of balloons can be set off by sending the balloon emoji. Unfortunately, it doesn't work with Messenger for Windows or Android.

6. 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.


Send a quick video to get your point across.

Alina Bradford/CNET

7. 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.


You can change your like button and then make the emoji huge.

Alina Bradford/CNET

8. Make your emoji huge

Whether you stick with the thumbs-up emoji or pick something a little more custom, you can 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 send.

9. Play a hidden soccer (football?) game

All you need to to find a secret soccer game in Messenger is to send the soccer ball emoji to a friend, tap on the sent emoji and start playing. The object of the game is to keep the ball off the bottom of the screen. To do this, keep tapping on the ball. This game is a lot harder than it sounds.

Shoot some hoops and battle for the best shooting streak.

Alina Bradford/CNET

10. Also, there's a hidden basketball game

You can find a hidden basketball game the same way. Just send a friend a basketball emoji and tap on the sent emoji. If you're good at Pokemon Go, you may be good at this Messenger game. All you do is try to flick the basketball into the basket. The counter keeps track of how many times you make a basket in a row.

11. Start a chess game

You can play chess with Messenger, too. Type @fbchess play and send the text. A chess game will pop up that you can play with your friend. Need help? Type @fbchess help and a message will pop up with a rundown on the game.


Get cerebral with a mobile chess game.

Alina Bradford/CNET

12. 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.

13. 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 the Messenger will be saved in your device's gallery.

14. Stop unwanted convos

Is some random person bugging you, but you don't want to block them? If you're not friends with them, go into the conversation and select Manage at the top of the screen. Then, from the menu choose Manage Messages. Move the slider tab to the left and you will stop receiving messages from that person.

If you've been added to a group you don't want to be a part of you can mute it so your phone isn't buzzing every few seconds. Go to the conversation on the dashboard and hold your finger down on the conversation. Then, choose Mute Notifications from the menu.

15. Have a secret conversation

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

Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

This article was originally posted on July 28, 2016 and has since been updated.