Facebook updates Messenger with video sharing, improved search and more


Social networking giant Facebook today has refreshed its iOS Messenger application, redesigned from the ground up last November, with a few new features you should know about.

The biggest news in Facebook Messenger 5.0, available free for the iPhone, is its newly added ability to exchange video messages from your library with other Messenger users. Previously, you could only share photos and short voice recordings using the app.

Other enhancements worth mentioning include easier photo sharing, improvements to the search feature, a tweaked user interface making it easier to send photos, voice messages and more…

According to release notes accompanying the 36.8MB download, the app reduces friction when sharing photos with fewer taps: you can now take a photo and send it in one tap, without ever leaving the messaging interface.

Another nice-to-have: you can tap and hold on a sticker received in a chat to quickly download the whole sticker pack to your device.

Here’s everything that’s new in Messenger 5.0:

• More ways to message: Everything’s front and center, so it’s easier to send photos, voice messages and more.

• Video: Send videos from your phone’s camera roll and when people send you videos, play them right in the app.

• Instant photo sharing: Take a photo and send it in just one tap, without leaving the conversation.

• Shortcuts to stickers: When someone sends you a sticker, press and hold down on it to get the pack.

• Improved search: Enter the names of people and groups to find them quickly.

• Other fixes, including to stickers and groups.

By the way, Facebook has removed the messaging feature from its main iOS client in favor of Messenger. Now tapping the new Messenger tap in Facebook’s main iOS client yanks you out of the app and launches the standalone Messenger software, if installed.

In other Facebook news, the company today opened up the Pop animation framework behind the nifty visual effects in Paper for iPhone. The code is now available on an open-source basis over at the GitHub repository and can be used to streamline user interface design and apply the various effects seen throughout Paper.

Grab Facebook Messenger 5.0 for free in the App Store.

The app requires iOS 7.0 or later.