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Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular apps that is only bettered by WhatsApp, which is another app owned by Facebook.

The app has over a billion monthly active users from all over the world and there are reasons these people are using this app on a daily basis. If you haven’t yet joined the Facebook Messenger family and more so if you are still using your phone’s SMS app, here are some 10 things that the Messenger app does much better than your nostalgic SMS app.

Use Messenger as the SMS app

One of the most interesting features of Facebook Messenger is that it can totally replace your SMS app. The chat app allows you to turn it into your default SMS app on your Android phone, where the SMS chat threads will appear in purple and the normal Messenger chat threads will appear in blue. You can do all this from the Settings of the app.

Voice and video chats

Typical SMS apps do not support making of voice and video calls, rather, they are strictly meant for messaging purposes. With Facebook Messenger, you can push aside the texting and get into a voice or video call with your friend, just like Skype. Cool huh!

facebook messenger sms text

Group chats

Besides offering users the ability to chat with individual contacts, one cute feature that Facebook Messenger adds to the fold is ability to chat in groups. This is by far the best feature the app has over the typical SMS apps, where there’s no support for group chats.

No need for cell phone data plans

Facebook Messenger is an internet-based application, meaning you need an internet connection for it to work. However, this doesn’t mean it’s limited to cellular data plans because you can also turn to Wi-Fi hotspots and keep on chatting with friends.

Personalize group chats

When a Messenger group conversation, you can tweak just about every aspect of the app. Be it assigning your chat mates new nicknames, change group names, the color of the group chat or even assign specific emoji reactions – the app has everything you need to personalize your chats the way you want them to be.

facebook messenger video

Play games within chats

A while back, Facebook introduced the support for in-app gaming within Messenger. This feature can turn out to be an interesting addition when you are kind of bored and need something else to do rather than simply talk about stuff. You can play Words Against Friends, basketball or soccer against your friends and see who gets the better of the other.

Links appear as previews

While most SMS apps can display links, you’ll struggle to find one that displays these links as previews. This is where Facebook Messenger comes in, allowing users to receive these links as previews in a small thumbnail, which means you won’t have to leave the app in order to watch that YouTube video that was shared by your friend.

Read receipts always turned on

If you have those friends who tend to ignore messages you send them, well, with Facebook Messenger, they’ll have little to hide. This is because the app’s read receipts are always enabled, which means you can always tell when someone has read your message and is simply ignoring you.

Facebook messenger chess game

Delete embarrassing messages

Facebook Messenger lets you delete those embarrassing messages you sent to friends by mistake by simply tapping on the ellipses next to the text bubble and hit delete button, something you won’t find on your Android SMS app.

Secret chats

With the growing need of privacy, Facebook Messenger is equipped with a feature known as Secret chats. Here, your chats are encrypted and they also disappear after a few seconds, but you can also tweak the time it takes for the chats to disappear. Note that this feature is optional, which means you have to enable it before using it, otherwise, your messages will still be there a week or even years later.