Facebook Messenger Sends SMS Text Messages Now

Love Facebook Messenger, but still have a soft spot for good ol’fashioned SMS? Well, good news: As of Tuesday, Facebook Messenger can send SMS text messages. You heard me: No more switching back and forth between your regular texting program and Facebook Messenger… if, that is, you have an Android. Sorry, users of literally every other type of phone out there; this neat-o new feature isn’t supported on your device yet. But it’s an exciting idea, and I actually can’t wait to try it out.

The announcement appeared on Messenger’s Facebook page today, letting the world know that from this moment on, Android users would be able to effectively make Messenger their default texting app. “We know that people receive messages via both SMS and Messenger — for example, your best friend sends you GIFs on Messenger whilst your mom only uses SMS — we want to make it easier to stay in touch with all the people you care about,” reads the post. “We hope this new choice will bring the convenience of being able to access all your messages in one place, making your messaging a lot simpler and helping you stay on top of your conversations!”

Apparently select few have already tested the feature out; for those of us who haven’t, though, it looks pretty easy to activate: All you have to do is open Settings in Messenger, select “SMS,” and then turn on “Default SMS app.” Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to see and reply to your SMS conversations in Messenger. To help you keep which is which straight, the app will also color code your conversations: Messenger convos will appear in blue (the same way they always have), while SMS convos will appear in purple. Like so:

As The Daily Dot notes, this isn’t actually the first time Messenger has been capable of handling SMS; a similar feature launched back in 2012, but it didn’t stick around for long. Will it have lasting power this time? Maybe. I know for myself, I definitely use Messenger a lot more now than I did four years ago; heck, I didn’t even have it installed four years ago, but now I use it all the time. I’ve found it useful to be able to send something resembling a text to people I’m friends with on Facebook, particularly if I’m on the go and I don't actually have their number — so being able to handle texts and Messenger conversations from the same app streamlines the process nicely.

Other details worth knowing: SMS in Messenger supports text, images, videos, audio, stickers, emoji, and location sharing; however, you’ll have to fall back on regular Messenger to send GIFs or money or make voice and video calls. Also, Facebook’s servers don't send, upload, or store your SMS in Messenger conversations; everything is sent via SMS, and your regular texting fees will apply. Pretty much everything you need to know is right here:

Of course, I don’t have an Android, so it might be a while before I personally can take advantage of the new feature; still, though. I appreciate that it exists, and I’m looking forward to giving it a shot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The future really is now — and sometimes, it’s pretty cool.

Image: Fotolia