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You can now use Facebook Messenger to send and receive text messages

Messages app
Messages app (Image credit: Google)

If you're constantly switching between Facebook Messenger and text message conversations, Facebook is making your life a little bit easier. Facebook Messenger for Android can now send and receive both SMS and MMS messages alongside Facebook conversations, and you can set it as your default SMS application.

From Facebook:

Today we are enabling people to use SMS in Messenger for Android to communicate with their family, friends and phone contacts. What this means is you will now have the choice to be able to send and receive your SMS/texts in Messenger and will not have go to different screens on your phone to communicate.

To activate SMS in Facebook Messenger, open the app, then tap the Settings icon in the top right corner. Choose SMS from the list, then turn on "Default SMS app" when you see the option.

Facebook Messenger differentiates between your SMS and Facebook conversations with color, SMS being purple, while Facebook messages will be blue. Facebook notes that Messenger won't collect or store any of your SMS conversations or data on its own servers.

SMS capability should be rolling out to all Messenger users soon.

119 Comments
  • Any idea how this would work with Android Auto? SMS notifications are supported, but Facebook Messenger is not.
  • Maybe I'm crazy but wasn't this available a couple years ago? I swear everytime I set up Facebook messenger on a new phone it asks me if I want to use it for SMS as well.
  • You would be correct. Posted via the Android Central App
  • With the release of Facebook Home and the HTC Facebook phone? Ah, the good ol' days!
  • Oh yeah I was totally thinking Facebook Home as well! Is that even still available? I remember I tried it out for a few days lol.
  • This was a feature a few versions ago (like, last year?). Not sure if maybe in Beta for some (I'm on the beta and I hadn't seen it in a while, but other testers say the have), but the feature was removed from the main version a while back. And now they're adding it again.
  • I used it for SMS but the MMS functionality was broken so I went back to hangouts. I am on their beta track though.
  • Same thought. Did it go away? I never noticed because I never use SMS Posted via the Android Central App
  • Finally. I missed this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This should make Google make their crappy Messenger app better. Does anyone else find it's really slow? I'm one of those that sends multiple messages at once which every other app can handle apart from the default SMS Messenger app on my Priv. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Wouldn't know. Not on a Nexus device. Samsung's message app is fast and feature rich.
  • Is this the default Messenger App that you are using? -> https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F...
  • Yup that's the one Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google is doing just that; didn't you hear about Allo that they announced at the most recent developers conference? http://www.androidcentral.com/allo
  • Yeah it brings me a bit of hope Posted via the Android Central App
  • Let's hope they don't make it as slow! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Except it doesn't support SMS so isn't a direct replacement for the Messenger app. It only uses your phone number for other people to "find" you, not for actually sending and receiving texts.
  • I thought it would? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just returned to Android from an 18-month stint on the dark side and picked up the s7 edge. One thing I noticed about Messenger, which made me dump it, is that it wouldn't notify me of incoming messages while I was on a call. Sure, there would be a visual notification, but it wouldn't play the notification sound or vibrate, no matter what I tried. Has anyone else seen this?
  • Why would you want that to interrupt your call? luvin my s7 edge
  • Exactly. I don't want my phone beeping in my ear everytime I get a message while I'm on a call. That would be annoying. There should be a slight vibration tho.. Posted via the Android Central App on my Nexus 6P
  • Mine just updated but that feature is not there Posted via the Android Central App
  • I am even part of the beta testing and I never got this Posted via the Android Central App
  • i did not get it either
  • I must've been a beta tester because I've had the feature for a few weeks now
  • I tried this before and it was cool except it doesn't do group messages well outside of facebook Posted via the Android Central App
  • That's disappointing to hear. One of the reasons I wanted to try it is because I have so much trouble with group texting on my Note 5 with my iPhone contacts. Good lord I'm going to end up having to go back to an iPhone to get my messages consistently. Grr!
  • Try Textra! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Does that require the other parties to use Textra as well?
  • "Facebook notes that Messenger won't collect or store any of your SMS conversations or data on its own servers." Sure they won't.
  • I'm sure Zuckerberg has a private server in his basement for that kind of thing, lol
  • True Facebook does not collect your SMS texts Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my Nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • Time to take off the tinfoil hat and put on your thinking cap, mate. Lying about something like that is literally corporate suicide (bye bye share price) and grounds for the biggest fine in history, coupled with endless class actions from the 1.6 billion users.
    Not gonna happen. Blackberry Priv
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  • I know how much companies lie but this time I do not think their lieing but still I am not going to use messenger for SMS texts I use Google's messenger for sms Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my Nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • Why would they care about your texts? Posted via the Android Central App Sorry, that sounded bad. I just mean that really, would Facebook expose themselves to huge liability just collect random sms messages? They're making over $1 Billion dollars each quarter already! No motive to mess with people!
  • I like this and am currently using it for my SMS. A couple things I hope they add... Quick reply
    Combine SMS & Chat into one and not keep it separate
  • It really needs a dark theme too! Posted via the Android Central App
  • It really does!! But I don't see that ever happening. Would be sooooo nice to have a dark theme for both the regular app and messenger.
  • Having a dark theme is the only way I would use it. I am really hoping that when Google allo is released it will include the option. Posted via the Android Central App
  • They can keep their garbage.... Rather use messenger pigeons than FB Posted via the Android Central App
  • cool.
  • That's nice Blackberry Priv
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  • This worked veeeery early in the Messenger lifecycle, not sure why they removed it but glad to see it making a comeback.
  • This is far from new Posted via the Android Central App
  • I said the same thing. I used this month's ago and stopped using that function. I didn't know it went away. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope Posted via the Android Central App
  • So Facebook messenger will now work like Google Hangouts.
  • This feature will not come to me in 2 months like the material design Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my Nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • I can.
    But I won't.
  • Cool story bro. Blackberry Priv
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  • Guess I was a beta tester... I've had this for at least a month or two already... if not longer. Time is but a blurr these days
  • This is exactly what I was expecting from Apple/iMessage.
  • I've had to turn it off on my mom's phone because she didn't want to use it for text, the app alone eats up enough battery as it is on her phone (Note 3) Posted from a Droid Turbo that still lacks Marshmallow
  • No sms option here. Never seen one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • So wait, people actually install Facebook messenger on purpose? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Funny stuff, champ...
  • Im still new at this whole thing. Im used to google play store but for some crazy reason the google play store got uninstalled from my phone (along with alot of my other apps and files) and i have not been able to install it since!! So i was just messing round with my phone and came cross this! So i am keeping my fingers crossed that i am able to download games,music, and pictures,exc.like i was on google play! So if there is any way that u could help me along this process i would really appreciate it!! Thank you so much just for taking your time out to read this. It means alot.
  • How did you uninstall Google play? Posted via Android Central App
  • Uhhhh, is it even possible to uninstall Google Play? Blackberry Priv
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  • Mabey it got hidden somehow?? Posted via the Android Central App
  • I can't wait for Allo Posted via the Android Central App
  • Me either. Wish we had an idea on when it was going to be released!!!! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Why do people hate this app it's great now you do not need another messaging app this is 2 for 1 app now Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my Nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • "facebook is evil, corporations are stealing all of our data, bush did 9 11!"
    That sort of thing, y'know? Blackberry Priv
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  • Bush did not do 9/11 the terrorists did that now Kennedy's killing was by the CIA they hypnosis the killer into killing Kennedy so it would not look like it was them Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my Nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • im in the beta, up to date and don't have this :/
  • I wonder why I don't have the option when I have the update.
  • So instead of a lean, battery friendly SMS app, you can use a huge, battery eating Facebook app? Makes lots of sense to me. [/sarcasm]
  • Barely uses any battery at all on my note 5... but, ok...
  • Set messenger as the default for SMS and you can text with it now that's how you force it to come Posted from my Moto X 2nd gen and my Nexus 9 both on Android Marshmallow
  • Wow you rock. That actually worked! I don't know why I didn't think of that.
  • So does this lock in your phone number like crApple does?
  • no
  • Not sure how one can use this as default.. How do you text those who aren't on Facebook?
  • Brings all your messages in just like any other messaging app. Just turn the SMS option on, if you have it, and you're good to go.
  • I had to clear messenger data and enable more permissions.
  • Think of it as the normal text messaging app on your phone merging with Facebook messenger. Blackberry Priv
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  • I have updated, deleted, and reinstalled the app and still don't have this feature. I've been excited about trying this for the longest time. The SMS feature is not included in the latest update for me. On a Tmobile Galaxy S7 btw. Any ideas?
  • Having the same issue. Kind of annoying actually. I've done everything to try and get it to work.
  • With app installed, go into phone settings and enable messenger as default sms app.. Clear data on messenger and restart it. This worked for me.
  • Patience :) it might be a few days but you'll get it eventually :P Blackberry Priv
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  • These apps have seriously brain washed you all, you might as well give them access to your bank accounts, if you haven't already. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Dumb statements are dumb...
  • Are you a flat-earth kinda guy? You sound like a flat-earth kinda guy. Blackberry Priv
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  • I lol'd hard at this comment Posted via the Android Central App
  • No thanks!
  • Okay Blackberry Priv
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  • Anyone not able to get this update yet?? There's no update in the playstore, and I'm still sitting on version 74 wtf. Posted via the Android Central App on S7 Edge
  • I think they posted this a bit early. Facebook doesn't seem to have released this version for the public yet. Maybe tomorrow? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Read previous posts. Set it as a default sms app first and than the setting will show in messenger. They should say this in the article. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You're not getting it... There's no update for it yet. Therefore we can't set it as our default messaging app. This feature is only available on version 75, which some of us aren't getting yet. I'm still stuck on version 74 and no update is coming up in the play store. Posted via the Android Central App on S7 Edge
  • I gunna wait for allo Facebook messager has a struggle keeping connection if they can't even do that why would I let them near my sms Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yeah id like that to looks cool
  • Interesting... haven't experienced that issue since I've had SMS as an option on Facebook messager for the few months I've had it.
  • Maybe because internet connection issues often have nothing to do with SMS ? Blackberry Priv
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  • Does anyone know if contacts see your number??? like people on facebook. Id rather just sms family...
  • Also if you use messenger Web , i guess its easier to type from web for sms than on phone another advantage.
  • Can't use the SMS function on the Web, doesn't work that way. Blackberry Priv
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  • I still cant see the function in settings?......do u know if others on your list see your number or on FB?
  • It's right there in the article, just read to the end. "SMS capability should be rolling out to all Messenger users soon." Posted via the Android Central App
  • Key points being "should be" and "soon". Blackberry Priv
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  • Latest update in the Play Store is 6/7/2016 for version 74.0.0.12.65. Bet it takes another 7-10 days for this to "roll out".
  • I'm running version 76.0.0.3.70 and there's still no SMS feature available. I signed up for the Messenger Beta program few weeks ago hoping to get the SMS thing. So now I'm running a version advance beyond 75 and still nothing. It also says to leave the Messenger Beta program, you simply delete the app and reinstall. Which I did. The new version I downloaded is in the 76's Update: just verified that I am indeed using the public version. Which is 76.0.0.3.70
  • Who with a brain still uses facecrap. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Dumb statements are dumb... Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have the update. Seems pretty cool overall. I like how the sms notifications work the same as the Facebook messenger pop ups. My only concern is the sms color is purple without an option to change it. Other than that I'm Gucci Posted via the Android Central App
  • I like Facebook's apps. For the past few months I've been reading about how they drain your battery and use up all your RAM blah blah blah so I went to a Chrome shortcut, then Metal Pro, then Swipe, then Hermit... And now I'm back at the official FB app. It's so much better than the mobile site version and the "wrappers"; the difference in battery and RAM and data (which I have unlimited of so IDGAF about data usage) is so slight it's not worth the how frustrating the mobile site is (can't tag friends easily, uploading pictures is a pain...).
    Anyway, now to SMS in the FB Messenger app. Until Monday I would have thought that this was the best idea ever! Problem is I just got a Gear S2 and if I want to use text messaging on the watch (one of the main reasons I got it), I have to use the native Samsung messaging app as the default messenger. C'est la vie!
  • Same thing for me. Just got the s2 classic recently and I noticed I could hit reply and "send" a message from the watch, but it never actually sent. Hopefully they fix this somehow because I like using Facebook messenger Posted via the Android Central App
  • Finally got the update :) having my fb messages and my SMS in one place is amazing. Plus the little chat heads make it so convenient to write back from anywhere. Not so intrusive. Posted via the Android Central App on S7 Edge
  • I like the integration, however, I am not able to send or receive MMS messages. The sender gets a message that they cannot send a message to me, and they never receive the mms from me. (sending photos). Using Moto X 2nd gen, Lollipop, with Republic Wireless service. Most likely RW issues, but wondering if anyone else is having MMS issues as well.
  • Works just fine for me...very interesting how some experience this and others don't. Hopefully they fix this soon for all of you that are having issues with MMS, because it's a great app. Posted via the Android Central App
  • How do you turn it on? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Updated to version 75 and nothing. Uninstalled and reinstalled even gave permission to access my sms and still nothing. The place in the settings were it says change to default sms just isn't there. Very annoyed. Posted via Android Central App
  • Do photos/videos get compressed? Does it send over wifi if available?
  • Somebody wake me when there's a all or majority of ppl have it...or clear instructions. I had messenger set by default in the settings, texts go out but the replies come to different altering apps Posted via the Android Central App
  • I got the update today. Been waiting for this feature to come back. However, can't get MMS to work. Fails every time. And there's no settings for MMS where you can check them like other SMS apps. So will use once they fix this. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just wondering … on a wifi-only tablet, can Facebook Messenger still receive/send SMS messages? I have version 75 on my Galaxy Tab S2, but there’s no option for turning SMS on.
  • I have the AT&T version of the Galaxy Tab and the messenger beta updated for me today. Gives me all of the same SMS options as my phone but not letting me send a text. It tells me to use FB Messenger. Was hoping this would work.I'm sure it will at some point...
  • Tried it wasn't overly keen..ppl on FB can see also when I'm online. Rather use Textra best App so far till ALLO comes out