Facebook is rolling out another new feature for Messenger that'll help users easily track a reply to a specific person in a group conversation.
Called message replies, the feature is similar to the one that's long been available to WhatsApp, another Facebook-owned messaging platform.
Before the update, which was first reported by VentureBeat, users had to back read a thread to identify who's talking to who. Now, Facebook is making things easier, thanks to message replies, which lets a user quote a message and include it in their reply. This'll be especially useful in large group chats, where conversations tend to get cluttered — and oftentimes confusing.
Message replies work by pressing and holding a message. Tapping the Reply icon will attach a quoted version of the message to a reply. The feature also works when quoting GIFs, emojis, video messages, and photos.
Just to be clear, quoting a message won't affect the entire thread, as it won't necessarily delete the original one.
The message replies feature is just one of the recent updates for Messenger. Earlier this month, Facebook also rolled out a hidden dark mode for the messaging platform, which is activated by sending a crescent moon emoji to anyone in a user's contact list.
In February, Facebook also added an unsend option to Messenger. A feature that was only previously available to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the unsend option lets users delete a message for everyone in a conversation, but only within 10 minutes after it was sent.
These updates could be part of Facebook's plan to combine its family of apps, including Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. The merger, which will unify the technical infrastructure of the aforementioned apps, will enable cross-platform messaging.
This move may look practical and useful for the apps' billions of users, but Facebook's plan has since caused worries among lawmakers and regulators, citing antitrust issues and privacy concerns as just some of the underlying problems the merger could bring in the long run.