Facebook Messenger for Android has launched a new feature that will allow multiple users to share one device.
The feature has a variety of applications, with one example being parents allowing their children to use their Android phones to log in to Messenger and chat with their friends. The feature may also have corporate applications for shared Android devices within a team that communicates separately with clients.
"All over the world, hundreds of millions of people share their phones and tablets with members of their family and friends," says a post on Facebook by the official Messenger account, adding that the multiple account feature is being rolled out to simplify the communication of users, along with making it more secure and seamless.
The new feature for Messenger on Android, despite making it easier for multiple users to log in to Messenger in one device, still maintains privacy. Users will be able to see if there is any message that has come in for other users of the device, but they will not be able to read the messages that are not intended for them.
To activate the feature, users can go to the settings menu of the Messenger for Android app and then select Accounts. Through this option, all the accounts of the users who want to share the device can be added.
Users switching for the first time into their account on Messenger will be asked for a password. For succeeding times, users can decide whether accessing the account will always ask for a password to protect the contents of messages, or whether a password will no longer be asked to make the switching of accounts faster.
This would be applicable in the previously mentioned scenario with parents and children, as parents can choose to make switching to the accounts of their children password-free so that they can check the conversations that involve their children, but have their own accounts password-protected so that their children will not be able to read through their parents' personal messages.
For users who no longer want to use the common Android device, removing their account in Messenger is done simply through the same Accounts option in settings.
As of now, the feature is only for Messenger's Android version. There is no indication yet on when the feature will be rolled out for the app's iOS version.
Recently, reports also revealed that Facebook is working to allow Messenger to send out text messages