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Facebook Messenger adds new Shortcuts for silent messages, GIFs, more

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Facebook is adding a new set of features called Shortcuts to its messenger app. Users on iOS and Android smartphones can now issue commands in the chat window to perform different tasks. It includes notifying everyone in a group or silently sending a message without notifying other users. They can also send GIFs and ASCII emoticons on Facebook Messenger.

The company in its latest blog post said, “You likely know that typing “@” and a person’s name will tag that specific person in the chat. But what about when you want to grab everyone’s attention? Or maybe you just want to share a thought, but don’t need an immediate response?”

Facebook is introducing Shortcuts for Facebook Messenger on Android and iOS.

The Meta-owned messaging service reveals on Tuesday that it is introducing Shortcuts for Facebook Messenger on Android and iOS. This will be available starting today. Using the Shortcuts feature, users can now type @everyone to send a notification to all users in the chat. The command can be used to call group members’ attention to a message asking a question, or as a reminder for an older message.

Another interesting feature is using the /silent command. This feature might come in handy when you don’t want the recipient to receive any notification at all. In case you and your friends are in different time zones, or when it is late and you don’t want to wake your friends, you can send a  silent message using this feature.

The ability to send messages silently without disturbing the recipient is also available on the rival messaging service Telegram. Further, users can also easily find and send that perfect GIF, using the /gif shortcut – or by simply typing /gif and your chosen topic to see your gif options appear. However, Messenger in its blog post noted that sometimes even a gif can’t compare to the emotions conveyed by the old-school text-based table flip “(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻” and shrug “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” emoticon

Meanwhile, the company also announced /Pay shortcut making it even easier to send and receive money right in your one-on-one Messenger chats. This feature is only available in the US currently.

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