Meta, formerly known as Facebook, is introducing several new features and shortcuts to its Messenger app. Most notably, the company is adding a new Slack-like “@everyone” functionality that will notify all participants in a chat about a new message. Meta notes that the new feature is perfect for group reminders, get-togethers or when you’re asking a time-sensitive question and need a quick response.
On the other hand, the company is also rolling out a “/silent” functionality. When you type in “/silent” before sending a message in a group chat, the members of the group will not receive a notification of your message at all. Meta says the feature removes the anxiety of interrupting someone who may be in a different time zone and allows users to read messages at their leisure.
These two new features are available starting today. Meta also hinted at a few upcoming shortcuts that will roll out in the coming weeks.
The company plans to launch a new “/pay” shortcut in the United States that will make it easier to send and receive money in one-on-one Messenger chats. The shortcut will roll out to both iOS and Android users. Meta is also going to introduce a “/gif” shortcut that will allow users to quickly find and send GIFs. This feature will be coming to iOS users only. iOS users will also get access to “/shrug” and “/tableflip” shortcuts, which will automatically type out the ¯_(ツ)_/¯ and (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻ emoticons, respectively.
The launch of the new features comes as Messenger recently rolled out its “Split Payments” feature to all iOS and Android users in the United States. The company began testing the feature late last year as a way for users to share the cost of bills and expenses through the app. Meta sees the new feature as a “free and fast” way to handle finances through Messenger.
Split Payments was introduced alongside the news that Messenger was launching new voice message recording controls so users can pause, preview, delete or continue recording a voice message before sending it. The company also increased the duration of voice messages from one minute to 30 minutes.