Facebook today introduced two new features for Messenger called Message Reactions and Mentions.

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The previously rumored Message Reactions feature is getting comparisons to Apple’s own iMessage features introduced with iOS 10, allowing users to react to individual messages in a conversation with various emojis:

Message Reactions are the ability to react to an individual message with a specific emotion, quickly showing acknowledgement or expressing how you feel in a lightweight way. For example, if someone messages a photo of their cute pet, you could respond with the love reaction. Or, if someone is trying to coordinate dinner plans, you could easily respond with a yes or no reaction to indicate your preferences.

The person that sent the original message will then see a small animation indicating a reaction was made to one of their messages, or if the app is closed, they’ll get a notification on their device much like a regular message has been received. You can use the new feature by pressing and holding on the message you want to react to within messenger, and you can click a small icon in the corner of messages to see who has reacted to it.

Another new feature for Messenger in today’s update, called Mentions, allows users to tag someone in a group conversation by putting the “@” symbol before their name. The user that gets tagged will then get a specialized notification letting them know (other group members will get a regular notification still).

The new features are rolling out over the next couple days and will be available in the latest versions of the Messenger app, and also available to Work Chat in Workplace users. You can download the Facebook Messenger app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch on the App Store.


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