Facebook’s latest update to two of its platforms, Messenger and Instagram Direct Message, may not be a major one but it does come with a few useful tools. Messenger gets new themes including a celebration of May the 4th, a better way to manager your inbox particularly old messages, and camera stickers to celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Instagram’s Direct Messaging meanwhile gets visual replies, although for now it’s for iOS users only but it[‘s coming soon to Android.
In case you didn’t know it yet, you could actually change the Themes on your Messenger conversations. There are not that many to choose from but at least you now have two more options. One is a Star Wars theme to celebrate Star Wars Day last May 4th and the other is to celebrate the second season of the Netflix show Selena: The Series. Just go to the settings of the conversation you want to theme and choose which one you want.
Messenger and Messenger Kids will also get new camera stickers that are meant to raise awareness for and help the Asian and Pacific Islander community. It’s a tool that parents can use to expand the knowledge of kids about their API friends and even their own heritage. There’s a sticker reference guide for parents to help them have more in-depth conversations about API cultures and maybe even issues currently facing the community.
Messenger has new inbox features to help you manage chat threads that you want to remove from your main inbox. On your mobile device, you can now swipe to archive a thread that may be inactive or old. But in case you want to retrieve something there, you can access your Archived Chats folder easily. Tap your profile picture on the Messenger app and then tap Archived Chats to see the full list.
Lastly, Instagram Direct Messages gets support for visual replies. This means you can send a video or image as a reply to when someone sends you a message. Currently, when you long-press to reply, you can only send text. Now you have more options on what to reply to that particular message. It will only be available for iOS devices at first but eventually, it will come to Android as well.