There's so much more to do on Facebook Messenger than send messages to your friends. Even if you're a frequent user of the app, it's likely you haven't heard of some of its built-in features - and there really are loads to take advantage of.

From sending money directly through Messenger to playing games in a group chat, discover some of Facebook Messenger's best features below.

Share your Live Location

It's now easier than ever to let your family or friends know exactly where you are. Directly through Messenger you can send your live location to contacts, meaning people can see your real-time whereabouts and track your journey.

This feature is perfect if you're trying to work out the best spot to meet up with a friend, are waiting for a family member in town and wonder if you have time to nip into a café to grab coffee, or for those travelling alone on an evening, offering peace of mind knowing a loved one back home is tracking your route.

To share your Live Location, make sure to take the following steps:

iOS

  1. Open Messenger, and select the person or group chat you wish to share your location with.
  2. Click the More icon (it looks like a square made from 4 dots)
  3. Select Location
  4. Tap on 'Share Live Location'
  5. The people in the chat will now be able to track your whereabouts for 60 minutes.
  6. To stop sharing your location, simply select 'Stop Sharing'.

Android

  1. Open Messenger, and select the person or group chat you wish to share your location with.
  2. Click the More icon (the four dots) and then tap Location
  3. You'll be able to see a map with your current location pinpointed. Tap the blue bar to share your Live Location instead.
  4. To stop sharing, just tap 'Stop Sharing'.

Dark Mode

Transforming the Messenger app so it's much easier on the eye in dim conditions, Dark Mode is a brilliant feature that essentially changes the background to black, adjusting the text accordingly so it appears white.

dark-mode

Dark Mode is designed to reduce eye strain and is easily activated by clicking your Profile icon that's located on the top left of the Messenger app. From here, you'll see a Dark Mode option which you can turn on for as long as you like.

Play games

If you love to challenge your friends online, the Games feature on Facebook Messenger is sure to be a hit. You'll find a whole range of games, including Words With Friends and Draw Something, to enjoy - just open a chat, press on the box where you'd usually type, click More and select Games.

basketball

There are a few hidden games you can activate too. Send a basketball emoji or a football emoji to a friend, then tap the emoji to start. You can then play shout-out style games, and try to beat your friend's best score.

Have fun with masks and filters

Video messaging is a great way to stay close to those who live far away, and Facebook's masks and filters add a touch of fun to each video call.

If you've never set up a video call on Facebook Messenger, don't worry - it's straightforward. Open up the chat, tap the video camera icon on the top right and wait until the person on the other line picks up.

Once you're chatting, you can play around with Facebook's video effects while you talk. Add a colour filter over the top or choose one of Facebook's ever-changing augmented reality masks.

Set a reminder

Arranged something important with a friend that you can't risk forgetting about? Set a reminder - it'll sit at the top of your Messenger chat, so you don't forget about it. This feature is really easy to use, on iPhone just open up the chat, tap the chat box, tap the 'More' icon (four dots) and then hit 'Reminders'.

reminder

A pop-up screen will appear. You'll be able to label your reminder, set a time and a date and even add a location. Your response will automatically be noted as attending, and your friend (or friends - if you're in a group chat) will be able to reply accordingly.

Messenger for Kids

Parents on Facebook can now safely talk to their kids on Facebook Messenger without having to create a separate Facebook profile for their child.

A Messenger Kids account can be created directly through a parent's profile, enabling children to join video calls and chats safely. Parents will have complete control over who their children are able to chat with, to ensure online safety. The controls can prove incredibly useful for protecting the wellbeing of children. Sleep Mode, for example, allows parents to set time limits on the app to prevent excessive screen time.

messenger-kids

To create a Messenger Kids account, follow the steps below:

  1. Download the Messenger Kids app onto the device your child will be using. You can find the app on the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.
  2. In the app, tap Get Started, then select Authorize Device.
  3. Enter your own Facebook login information when prompted, then tap Authorize Device once more.
  4. Enter your child's name.
  5. Select Create Account, and follow on-screen instructions.
  6. Repeat the steps above to add a second child to Facebook Messenger.

Enjoy the latest tech to explore Facebook Messenger's best features on by picking up a contract, upgrade, or SIM-free deal at Mobiles.co.uk today.