Facebook has come under fire this week for the massive Cambridge Analytica controversy sweeping the internet, which gave way to the #DeleteFacebook campaign. But even in light of the situation, it doesn't mean Facebook's other departments have to stop working.
Amid its very public crisis, Facebook just updated its Messenger platform with new admin features. The company announced on Wednesday, March 22, that the app will now require users trying to join a group chat to get permission form that group's admin.
Messenger Gets Admin Features
Facebook says the new admin privileges, which lends admins a lot of control options, is useful for large group chats where the members may not be connected. Group chats, for the uninitiated, can include up to 250 users — this is really useful for those who are, say, planning a surprise birthday party, or a big vacation.
Joining a conversation is as easy as clicking a link to said group chat, according to Facebook. But again, depending on admin privileges set for a particular group chat, new members may or may not need to be approved first.
Admins will also have the ability to remove members if so they choose, or promote a member to admin or remove their admin privileges if needed. These options, however, are merely optional. Users can implement them or just get rid of them altogether.
"The great thing about admin privileges in Messenger is they work in the background; if your group chat doesn't need that level of control, it won't get in the way of your group messaging," wrote Facebook in a blog post.
Admin privileges in group chats will be turned off by default, so users will have the option to toggle admin approval on or leave it off. Admin privileges are also rolling out simultaneously on Workplace Chat, Facebook's messaging platform for businesses.
Facebook also says that users may now facilitate voice or video calls with up to 50 people at a time, and they may add participants to the conversation without interrupting it.
Facebook has been adding a lot of features to Messenger in recent years, to the point where it's almost its own social network. Some people even use Messenger exclusively without using Facebook at all, as deactivating one's account doesn't necessarily close up messaging privileges.
Aside from newly added admin privileges, Messenger also features @mentions, reactions to chats, PayPal payments, and voice and video calling. Some of these features are also available on the stripped-down Messenger Lite app.