Facebook Messenger adds new effects, facial recognition and UberThe social network packs several new features into its chatting app, including Photo Magic facial recognition. Also, learn how to change your chat colors and book an Uber ride through the app.
Facebook messenger has a few new surprises this holiday. I'm Bridget Carey. This is your CNET Update. [MUSIC] Facebook is just cramming it's messenger app With new features for the holidays. If you're sharing photos with friends and family over the Chat app, you're gonna notice that it can recognize faces and suggest that you send it to them. The facial recognition tool that's in the main Facebook app for tagging photos Is now rolling out to the messenger app. But in messenger, it's there to remind you to send this photo to that person. Now Facebook calls it photo magic. But if you call it weird, well, you can tell Facebook to not suggest your face to others in settings, or you can turn off suggestions completely inside messenger. The app is also letting you se a color for a conversion if you rather not have everything be blue and white. You can also set nicknames so your mom can show up as "Mom" instead of her full name on Facebook. And you know that big thumbs up you can send? Well you can change that To another's emojis. To change these things on iOS, tap the name of the person in the chat and it'll open up a list of choices. On Android there's an info button on the top right that makes these changes. And the other person is going to see all the changes that You make. Also there are some winter surprises. If you send anything winder or snow Christmas related in a message, you're gonna see snowflakes fall on your screen. And for Android users that still use chat heads You're gonna see snow falling in profile bubbles, or during the new year, it's gonna show confetti, and not everything new is a silly effect. Facebook also made with Uber, so you can request a ride inside of the Messenger app. Instead of having to open a separate Uber app, type out an address and click on it to request a ride. Or you can tap the car icon. Now when you connect your account to Facebook the first ride is free when you use Messenger. Well, it's just a $20 value which could be helpful for those holiday parties. To get it to show up, you're gonna tap the ellipses more icon and go to transportation. Facebook implies that we may see other ride services on there too and Tech Crunch is reporting from a source that competitor list Could be on Messenger in January. Facebook Messenger is the fastest growing app of 2015, and that's according to a new report from Nielsen. The main Facebook app is still the top smartphone app of all, with more than 126 million average unique users a month. But Facebook Messenger has the greatest increase of users from last year. And that's because Facebook forces you to download it if you wanna chat privately on mobile. That's it for this tech news update, and there's always more at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]