Facebook announced the inclusion of two new features to its Messenger instant messaging (IM) app – Reactions and Mentions. In a release published on Thursday, Messenger's Product Manager Drew Moxon said the additions were designed to improve the overall quality of group conversations, both in terms of their usefulness and entertainment value. The new features have relatively self-explanatory names as Reactions allow users to react to particular messages with a range of emotions that are already available on Facebook, while Mentions provide them with an option of quickly tagging other people and sending them notifications.
Apart from regular Reactions that are already available on Facebook, the ones that were just added to Messenger also include a thumbs-up and a thumbs-down icon. The latter one was somewhat controversial once its existence came to light seeing how Facebook has been refusing to add a dislike reaction to its platform for years now. However, the Menlo Park-based social media giant pointed out that the thumbs-down icon that's now debuting in Messenger isn't meant to be understood as a dislike, but a simple "no." Regardless, Reactions started rolling out yesterday and should soon be available to Messenger users worldwide. In case your Messenger app was recently updated and you suspect the new feature might already be available, you can try adding a Reaction to individual messages by long-pressing them in the app. That action should open an overlay where you'll be able to tap on any available reaction to add it to a particular message.
The second new addition to Messenger are Mentions, a simple way of tagging individual users in group conversations. To do that, simply start typing someone's name to activate a drop-down menu or type the "@" symbol and a single letter to open the Mention menu immediately. Anyone you mention by name will be immediately notified about it, while everyone else will also see your mention appear highlighted within Messenger. Refer to the gallery below to see some screenshots of the aforementioned functionalities in action. The addition of Reactions and Mentions to Messenger isn't particularly surprising seeing how Facebook has been experimenting with both features for some time now.