What you need to know
- Meta unveiled new shortcuts in the Messenger app for Android and iOS.
- The new command system lets you ping all group chat members with @everyone or send a message to everyone without firing up their phones' notification.
- Meta promised to roll out a few more shortcuts in the coming weeks.
Facebook Messenger is taking aim at Slack with a new command system that makes the platform's experience a bit easier and faster on mobile. Meta has unveiled new shortcuts that allow you to ping everyone in a group chat in one fell swoop or silently send a message.
You can already tag someone in a chat to get their attention by just typing "@" followed by their name. Meta is supercharging that experience with a new "@everyone" shortcut that lets you notify all group chat members at once.
The shortcut comes in handy when you're sending an urgent message to your group. Meta noted that it's "perfect for group reminders, impromptu get-togethers or when you need to gather the braintrust to crowdsource an answer to a time-sensitive question."
If you've been using Slack for team communication, you should be familiar with the new shortcut. It creates the same effect as Slack's implementation, firing up Messenger's notification when you tag everyone in your chat.
On the other hand, if you're wary about sending a message to the whole group and potentially interrupting those in a different time zone, Meta has you covered. It introduced the "/silent" shortcut to let you send a chat without pinging everyone.
Meta said this shortcut "removes the anxiety of interrupting someone with a non-urgent pop-up notification or disturbing them during their off hours."
Both shortcuts are now available on Messenger's mobile app for the best Android phones and iOS devices. The /silent shortcut is also available on Instagram as “@silent."
The social networking giant also vows to release a few more shortcuts over the coming weeks. In the U.S., users on iOS and Android will be able to send and receive money directly in Messenger chats just by typing "/pay."
This comes on the heels of Messenger's Split Payments feature, which lets you request money from within a chat and split the amount among its members.
Users will also be able to easily find and send a GIF using the "/gif" shortcut, though this will only be available on iOS along with the "/shrug" and "/tableflip" shortcuts to send the old-school tableflip “(╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻” and shrug “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” emoticons.
Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.
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