Facebook updates Messenger with video sharing

App now allows users to access multiple forms of media, including photos and stickers, faster

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 28, 2014
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/3697

Facebook's most recently stated goal has been to create a suite of apps, each with a separate function outside of the core app. That means a separate app just for reading, another one for fitness tracking and another for taking pictures, etc. The idea is to make Facebook the center of activity on your phone without, you know, taking over the whole thing. 

As part of its new goal, Facebook made the decision to force its users to download a separate app in order to use its instant messenger service via mobile. It was essentially going to force its users to get the app if they wanted to continue to use the function. Boo-hiss!

But there's more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to get users to use your app. What I mean by that is, forcing users to download it is one way to increase the numbers. But how about giving people cool features that they clearly want? That also works sometimes.

And that is exactly what Facebook has done with the latest update for Messenger, released on Monday, adding in new forms of sharing and media, in a move that will no doubt help it compete with other messaging service, like Snapchat.

First, Facebook has added one very important new feature: video sharing, giving users the ability to send videos right from your phone's camera roll and the ability to play them right in the app.

On top of that, it now has quicker photo sharing, which allows users to ake a photo and send it in just one tap, without leaving the conversation, as well as shortcuts to stickers.

And lastly, it has improved search, allowing users to enter the names of people and groups to find them quickly.

These features will reportedly be added to the Android app sometime this week. 

This update comes after Mark Zuckerberg announced last week that Messenger now has 200 million people using it monthly. The app has some stiff competition, though, especially from services like Snapchat, which lets its users take photos, record videos, as well as add text and drawings. 

The point is that for Messenger to stay viable it was going to have to adapt to a world where people could communicate to each other in multiple different ways, and one where could do it easily.

It is a good thing Facebook to be making these updates sooner rather than later, especially if it wants its app suite idea to hold any water.

(Image source: techmaniacs.gr)