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

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Meta, formerly known as Facebook is adding several new Shortcuts to its Messenger app. The company’s new shortcut features will allow users to issue commands in the chat box such as silently sending a message, notifying everyone in a group, sending GIFs, and emoticons.

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?”

Using the Shortcuts feature, users can type @everyone, to involve everyone in the group. It can be used as a call for group member’s attention, or even as a reminder for an old message. “@everyone is perfect for group reminders, impromptu get-togethers or when you need to gather the braintrust to crowdsource an answer to a time-sensitive question. This way, your message gets maximum exposure, and nobody misses out,” read a post from Facebook Messenger’s blog.

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Messenger’s new shortcuts will get you there in the shortest number of keystrokes. (Image: Facebook)

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.

Read more |I am taking a break from Facebook and you should too

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 tableflip “(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻” and shrug “¯_(ツ)_/¯” emoticons. Instead of struggling to type each emoticon (or having to find it online to copy and paste), users can simply type in /shrug or /tableflip to add your chosen emoticons to your message. The two new features are currently available on Android and will be coming soon to iOS devices as well.

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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