For Facebook users it’s easy as pie to keep in touch with your friends. Their official iPhone app was released a little while ago and included support for major bits of functionality. However, chatting wasn’t very easily possible, even in mobile Safari. It seems iPhone users have been stuck without a good Facebook mobile messaging solution.
The new Facebook Messenger app includes everything you would expect in a Facebook messaging client. There is a lot of functionality designed specifically for mobile users which ties into your Facebook account, and it helps keep you in touch with your friends wherever you are! To get started all you’ll need is a Facebook account, some free time and to hit that little More button to read our review.
Once the app is loaded onto your iPhone, you’ll be given the choice of logging in or signing up for a new account. If you choose to register, you’ll be redirected into Safari for Facebook’s mobile signup page. It’s a bit of a hassle, so try to get your account details ready beforehand.
Once you log in, you’ll be presented with your messages screen which includes not only chats, but previous private messages which have been sent to you. Even messages sitting in your inbox from months ago will load as well, which is part of what makes the app so useful. You can send both live chats and private messages to your friends who are offline, or archive older content into your device.
The top left gear button will open up Facebook Messenger options. In here you can set alerts on/off depending on what you’ll be doing. Additionally, you can setup checkin services for Facebook Places, or log out of the app altogether. Here is where you’ll also find FAQs and info on the app developers.
Verifying your Phone
After first login you’ll be prompted to verify your phone. You have the option to skip this step — the top left button will bring you right into your messages view. However, if you’ll be using Facebook chat a lot I would recommend the verification process, as it will enable Facebook to lock your account onto that specific phone number, thus your account will be watched over for suspicious activity in case somebody hacks into it.
To confirm the process simply enter your number, select the country code and hit Submit. Facebook will send you a text message with a link to confirm the number is correct. It only takes a minute and never needs to be done again afterwards, but as I stated, it is absolutely optional. If you’d rather not even bother just tap Skip and proceed to your messages list.
If you go back to the main view with all your messages you should see another button in the top-right corner. This is a new message button, so just tap here to bring up a new window. Initially, your cursor will be highlighting the To: field, awaiting to add new friends. It is possible to add multiple friends into a chat, but this can become very messy. I would recommend sticking with one person per message and opening a new window for other friends.
It’s a simple process to search your Facebook friends list. Start typing a few letters of their first or last name to bring up their full listing and profile picture. Tap to select and Facebook Messenger will automatically add them as a recipient. You should notice the small bar with the send button directly beneath, which is how you can enter your IM text.
Chats are listed in threaded table rows with the user avatar displayed off to the left side. On the right you’ll find a timestamp displaying when the chat message was sent. If the user is on Facebook’s website or a chat client you should see a small text bubble icon next to their timestamp. For those using a mobile app (such as Facebook Messenger) you’ll notice instead a smartphone icon.
This can be useful to see who will be able to reply quickly and who may not be around for chats. Also, tapping on the gear icon within a chat lets you disable all notifications going forward. And if you’d like to archive your messages, just swipe from left-to-right over the chat in your messages view. A small red button will appear to archive the entire chat log.
Whether you’re creating a private message or live chat you should be able to share the same type of information. There are no limits to character counts but it can be annoying typing long messages on the iPhone’s keyboard. Luckily, Facebook Messenger supports both portrait and landscape view throughout the entire application.
If you love sharing photos and media then you’re really in luck. Facebook Messenger has a small camera icon next to the input field. Tap here to take a new photo or upload media from your photo library. This is a great way to share your mobile experiences with friends who aren’t around you at different events.
The upload process is simple, however you are limited to one image per message, so in order to upload sets of images you’ll need to send them over one at a time. You can tell the image was successfully added if the camera icon is replaced by a small thumbnail of your new photo.
Facebook Messenger is a fantastic app for Facebook aficionados. If you’re looking for a way to share chats and media with your Facebook friends while mobile, this is the perfect solution. You’ll be able to archive your messages for later and even share photos while on the go. Plus, with a free price tag you really can’t beat the convenience!