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Facebook Integrates SMS into Its Messenger App

For many people, Facebook Messenger is an app that they’ll open when they get tired of texting each other or when they want to send media (e.g. stickers and GIFs) that aren’t available on SMS. But all of these is going to change now that Facebook is integrating SMS into the Messenger app.

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What’s this all about? Basically, the biggest change that this update brings is that you can now see your text messages when you open the Facebook Messenger app. This means that you don’t need to open your phone’s native SMS client to receive and send text messages to other people since you can easily do it while on Messenger. It’s more convenient since you don’t need to switch back and forth between two windows, and you can see all your important messages (whether they’re SMS or on Messenger) in just one screen.

You’ll need to have an Android phone since this update isn’t available to those who are using iOS. To enjoy this feature, visit Google Play Store to download the updated version of Facebook Messenger. Once you’ve installed the update, you can check if the SMS feature is already available for you (Facebook confirms that the new feature has already rolled out to most countries). If it is, you’ll need to manually activate the feature by opening the Messenger app, going to Settings, selecting “SMS”, then choosing the “Default SMS app” option. Doing these will make Messenger the default app for your SMS and ensure all your incoming text messages will appear in the app.

Once you have SMS integration on Facebook Messenger, you can differentiate between text messages and Messenger chats since the latter will be colored purple and the latter will retain their distinctive blue color. Through this feature, you can now send stickers, emojis, GIFs, and other Messenger-based content as text messages to other people. Anyone can receive SMS that are sent from Facebook Messenger (regardless of the OS they use), but they won’t be able to reply with stickers and other content unless they also use Messenger.

According to Facebook, their servers don’t store the SMS that go through the Messenger app, so users don’t have to worry about their privacy. However, this does mean that regular SMS fees apply to these text messages, so users still need to include a text messaging option to their mobile phone plans or be prepared to pay additional charges for SMS.

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