Facebook Messenger passed the 1 billion users milestone this summer, and the company aims to keep its cohort of users talking. Enter "Conversation Topics" on Messenger, a feature that suggests interesting discussion topics for you and your buddies.
Chris Messina is the first who spotted the feature on the iOS variant of the app, and promptly posted to Twitter about the icebreakers.
— Chris Messina (@chrismessina) October 16, 2016
It should be mentioned that the feature is currently being tested on a relatively small batch of users, which explains why only some people can see or use it in their Messenger app.
As reports show, the suggested topics get their exclusive section on the home screen. Specifically, users will notice the conversation topic pop up below a friend's name in the new section. To the right you can gaze upon the Messenger's activity indicator, showing when the person was last online.
The feature will point out places recently visited by your friends, so you can open up a conversation casually about their latest activity.
Other possible icebreakers can come from songs that your friend played on a music streaming service, or events that they showed interest in through Facebook Events.
The premise of Conversation Topics is rather basic: people are afraid of awkward conversation starters, so the feature gives you a few clues on how to break the ice, be it with a recent or an old friend.
What is more, the feature acts as a personalized News Feed of sorts, as it underlines what each person was up to. This makes it easy to talk and keep tabs on the ones you love.
Keep in mind that Conversation Topics is far from being the only tool that Facebook gives to its users in order to connect with those who share the same hobbies or passions. In September, Messina got a glimpse at the code embedded in Messenger, and it discovered that an upcoming feature dubbed Rooms could be in tow.
Is Facebook taking a leaf out of public chat rooms' notebook? This might not be far-fetched, as such a feature would allow users to flock around topics they are highly invested in, such as tech, science or health. What is more, Facebook tested the waters with a "Rooms" project in the past, but the idea was axed after the feature was greeted with mixed reactions.
At the time of the writing, it is hard to tell if the recent Conversation Topics will open the door to public chat rooms, but you can count on us to keep you up to date.