Facebook Messenger For iPhone Updated; Gets Read Receipt, Typing Indicator & More

Facebook has released an update for their standalone messenger app for iPhone.

The update brings new features such as the ability to see if someone has read your message, typing indicator etc.

Here’s the list of new features and improvements:

Now it’s even easier to reach groups of friends on the go:

  • Text friends for free (data rates may apply)
  • Reach friends wherever they are now – on their phone or the web
  • Know who’s seen your message, and who hasn’t 
  • See where friends are messaging you from

Also includes:

  • Typing indicator – see when your friend is replying
  • Bug fixes

As you can see in the screenshot below, you can clearly see if the recipient has seen the message:

Product Manager Peter Deng says Facebook wants mobile messaging to be like face-to-face conversations:

“SMS has been around for 20 years, it was built for these T9 phones. We’re focused on leveraging all the capabilities of today’s devices to create a new messaging experience.” 

Facebook plans to rollout these changes to standalone messenger apps first, followed by Facebook primary mobile apps and the website.

Features such as read receipts, typing indicator have been available in other messaging apps like WhatsApp for quite sometime, so nothing revolutionary about these changes. It would have also been nice if there was a way users could disable read receipts.

You can download the update via the Updates tab in the App Store app or download the Facebook Messenger app using this App Store link.

Facebook is also working on the standalone messenger app for the iPad and video chat feature for the iPhone app.

Let us know what you think of the changes in the comments below.

  • Dudley

    Interesting.

  • Scotchua

    I’m glad people can’t disable read receipt. It’s a useful feature.

    • Sorcerer

      Actually I am not glad at all. I want to be able to read my friends’ messages and ignore them because I’m busy or I’m in company, without making my friends feel ignored. This doesn’t have anything to do with “communicating transparantly” or “being true” or whatever Facebook calls it. It’s just practical: I decide when I respond. I decide when it’s not polite to even finish reading a (long) message because I’m in company. Facebook creates expectations when they say I’ve “read” a message.

      Also, this feature could be very distressing for some people with personality disorders or just insecurities (which are WAY more people than you think). It’s really selfish and ignorant to ignore those people. You probably really underestimate the distress this may cause to some people who’ve seen you read (or ‘have seen’) their message but who haven’t responded to it yet. I must admit that even I know that feeling.

      If you send me a message and it’s really important I reply or confirm I read it, I will just message you back. Like “ok, will do!” in the example screenshot in the article above. Or just call me if you really want to be sure.

      So, Facebook, please let me disable this and let me respond when I feel fit instead of creating expectations on my behalf.

  • Huge

    How do we text friends? How is it different from messaging?