Facebook Messenger Adds Support for Shortcuts, Allows Users to Send Silent Messages, GIFs, More

Facebook Messenger has released a new set of features called Shortcuts, using commands on the messaging service. Users on iOS and Android smartphones can now issue commands in chat windows to perform different tasks such as notifying everyone in a group or sending messages silently without notifying other users. They can also send GIFs and ASCII emoticons on Facebook Messenger. This new feature is reminiscent of MSN Messenger’s hidden ‘Easter Egg’ command which currently doesn’t work and is designed to simplify certain tasks on Messenger through the use of one-word commands.

Meta’s proprietary messaging service revealed on Tuesday that it is introducing Shortcuts for Facebook Messenger on Android and iOS, which will be available starting today. Using the Shortcuts feature, users can now type @everyone to send a notification to all users in a chat. This command can be used to call the attention of group members to messages that ask questions, or as a reminder for older messages.

Users can also use Shortcuts on Messenger to send messages to users or groups without notifying them, using the /silent command. Messages sent using this command will not tell the user about the message, which may be useful when sending messages to friends in different time zones without interrupting them. The ability to send messages silently without disturbing the recipient is also available on competitor Telegram’s messaging service, which introduced the feature in 2019.

Messenger has also announced upcoming support for Shortcuts for sending GIFs, arriving first on iOS
Photo Credit: Facebook

Keep in mind that certain Facebook Messenger features announced earlier this year have yet to be enabled for all users in the service. In January, the company announced an upgraded messaging experience for users in its Secret Chat mode, which uses end -to -end encryption (E2EE) for chats. These features include screenshot alerts, emoji reactions and a Disappear mode, announced before the date of the company’s plans to use E2EE for all chats in Messenger.

Asked about the delay in rolling out this feature, Chief Messenger Loredana Crisan told Gadgets 360 that some of these features are being tested by the company for stability before being rolled out to all regions.

Both Shortcuts /silent and @everyone will be available to Facebook Messenger users on iOS and Android devices starting today, according to the company. Meanwhile, the company is also working to add the ability to find and send GIFs to users and groups on Messenger using /gif commands. Users will also be able to use the /shrug and /tableflip commands to send tableflip emoticons “(° □ °) ︵ ┻━┻” and shrug “¯_ (ツ) _ /¯” on Messenger.

These three instructions will be available to users on iOS devices in the next few weeks. Messenger users in the U.S. will also be able to send and receive money using /pay commands in the future, the company said.


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