Facebook integrated SMS into its Messenger app back in 2012, but had to remove it a year later because of low adoption. Three years down the line, Facebook is bringing back SMS integration to its Messenger app. In essence you will now be able to send and receive SMS, as well as Facebook messages in one app. The catch is that it will work on Android only as iOS restrictions don’t allow third-party apps to access text messages. Also Read - Facebook is finally bringing 'smart glasses' in collaboration with Ray-BanAlso Read - Google, Facebook make vaccination mandatory for employees returning to office
The integration isn’t restricted to just sending text messages either, and one will be able to stuff like voice clips, stickers and locations among others as well. In a post announcing the integration, the company says, “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. We hope that 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!” Also Read - Facebook gives voice to emojis with Soundmoji: Here's how to send
To enable SMS on Facebook Messenger, head over to the settings menu and select the SMS option. There, one needs to enable the option — ‘Default SMS app’. Once enabled, your Facebook Messenger conversations will be shown in the usual blue color, while the SMS messages will be depicted in purple.
For those worried about privacy, Facebook says that none of the text messages sent via the Messenger app is stored on Facebook servers. Facebook recently revealed that it has over 900 million monthly active users on Messenger and says that it is a gradual roll out so if you have not yet received the feature, you may have to wait a bit.
The integration is similar to what Google offers on its Hangouts app. To use Hangouts as the default app for text messages, users have to similarly turn on SMS for Hangouts from the settings.