Facebook’s Messenger app for iPhone and Android was updated to version 4.0 today, and while users won’t notice much of a change, the update is a boon for people who rely on Facebook to communicate between large groups of friends.
Until today, Messenger, which allows users to access the social networking site’s chat system without opening the Facebook app on their smartphone, didn’t allow people to handle group messaging. Now, there’s a special “Groups” tab in the app that allows users to create and message groups of friends. Users can pin particular groups to the top of the list in order to keep them easily accessible.
For people who rely on Facebook’s chat system to coordinate events, or even just catch up with friends, the change now means that it’s easier to do so on their phones. Be warned, though: everyone in a group gets a notification when they’re added to it, which means it’s best to only create them when there’s something to talk about.
In addition, users can also forward messages from one conversation to another, so it’s easier to pass around key information or juicy gossip between friends without having to retype an entire message.
The app Facebook’s way of competing with other messaging apps like Kik, Line and WhatsApp, which the company recently agreed to purchase for $16 billion. While Facebook is closing in on its WhatsApp purchase, it seems like the company will be perfectly happy to support the two different apps, at least for the time being.