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Did anyone say they would love to have access to SMS support and multiple accounts on Facebook Messenger? Checked! It seems like Facebook is reading your mind. The giant company is testing, as we speak, both of these features.
SMS support used to be part of Facebook Messenger until the social media site removed it back in November 2013 because not a lot of people were using it. Another reason why SMS text support was dropped from the platform was that, at the time, Facebook wanted its users to fully adopt its messaging platform. Now, it seems that the company has changed its mind about it especially since it has become a standard for other messaging apps like WhatsApp.
According to The Android Police, some users were recently seeing a new SMS Settings pane that allowed them to use Messenger as an SMS client. When texting a friend in Messenger with the option enabled, the prompt in the text input box would read ‘Write an SMS message.’ The messages sent as SMS texts would then appear as purple bubbles, instead of Messenger’s usual blue, the blog also said.
The company confirmed about the test which is currently available to only a small number of Android users in USA. A Facebook spokesperson declared:
It’s a really simple way to get, see, and respond to all your SMS messages in just one app.
As if this news wouldn’t be enough, SMS support is not the only brand new change coming to Messenger. Facebook has also announced support for multiple accounts in the app for Android users. The new multiple accounts feature is likely targeted at users who share their devices within the family or friends. This addition will mean that multiple people can log in to Messenger from a single device.
On that note, Messenger for Android has added a new section called ‘Accounts,’ which lets you add and remove accounts on the app. These can also be password-protected so only the account holder can read their messages. Others will only see notifications that a message has been received and not it’s content. Unlike the SMS option, this feature is available around the world.
Regarding the second attribute for Android users, Facebook confirmed the rumors, pointing out the fact that millions of people share phones with their family and friends and until now there hasn’t been an easy way for these people to access their individual Messenger accounts from shared devices.
Even though SMS is still one of the default ways people communicate, Facebook’s only option to siphon value from those messages is to try and route users through its own service. From the looks of it, if it makes its way to a wider audience, these features would mark a significant and aggressive push from Facebook to eclipse SMS and long-time US rival iMessage.