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Facebook Messenger Testing 'Add Contact', Lets You Message Non-Friends More Easily

Facebook Messenger Testing 'Add Contact', Lets You Message Non-Friends More Easily

Facebook is testing an “Add Contact” feature in its Messenger app, the company confirmed to BuzzFeed News today.

Adding to the previously long list of tests that Facebook is showing, the latest is being tested on the Messenger app. It is testing a new 'Add Contact' request feature that permits users to chat with a contact on Messenger by just adding that contact to the smartphone. This means that users will be able to chat with their contacts by Messenger without being friends on Facebook.

Facebook already permits this, though in a modified format. When non-friends message, we’re met with a message request that permits us to read and accept or ignore any future correspondence. If we don’t accept, future messages will go to space formerly occupied by our “other” inbox. If accepted, the messages will filter through to our standard inbox.

The new feature would mainly permit for the same thing, but through the use of contacts. Once we add a contact, they can message us freely without the requirement to formally connect.

Messenger, however still behind Facebook’s monthly active user count of 1.7 billion, is rising faster than the main product, and will probably increase in importance to the company now with original sharing down on Facebook proper and its ad load nearing capacity. In an April earnings call, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was clear about the importance of Messenger to his business: “A lot of people want to share messages privately, one-on-one or with very small groups.”

With Messenger on the rise, Facebook is openly thinking about how it support to develop the app into its own ecosystem, released in some respects to the Big Blue App. And the “Add Contact” request is one more tool to help achieve that.

A few days ago, Facebook announced new bots that can directly send us ads and subscription messages. It also announced a new feature called Secret Conversations earlier this month that delivered users complete encryption to selected conversations and keeps them on a single device only. Users also had the choice to set a timer, after which the messages disappear.

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