New Facebook Messenger Features Let You Ping Everyone Or Alert No One

Facebook Messenger today rolled out a pair of new shortcuts that should make chatting in group conversations easier. In addition to the new shortcuts that are now live in the Messenger app, Facebook also previewed several other shortcuts that will be going live in the near future. While some of these have practical use, others are meant to be more lighthearted than outright useful. Still, we're sure they'll come in handy — especially for those who use messaging services like Slack or Microsoft Teams during the work day and then transition to Messenger for personal communication. That's because the two new shortcuts landing in Messenger today revolve around getting everyone's attention or silently leaving messages for your friends to discover later. After previously rolling out the ability to ping individual chat participants, you can now ping all participants in a group chat by typing "@everyone." This is a common feature in a lot of other chatting services, so it's nice to see Messenger get it as well.

In addition, you can leave a message without sending a push notification by typing "/silent" before your message. While this has fairly limited use, it will likely prove useful for leaving messages late at night, or in group chats where participants are spread out over several different time zones. Essentially, if you've ever held back on sending a message because you were worried you might wake up friends or family in doing so, the "/silent" command will take the anxiety out of late-night chatting.

Facebook Messenger previews shortcuts on the horizon

Those are the only two shortcuts going live in Messenger today, but Facebook has also previewed a few more that are on the way. Rolling out soon to U.S. users on both iOS and Android is the "/pay" shortcut, which does mostly what it says on the tin. While this will only work in one-on-one chats — there seems to be no way to direct payment to a specific user with this shortcut, ruling out its use in group chats — it's a quick way to send money for those who use Messenger for payments.

In addition to the "/pay" shortcut, iOS users will soon be getting a "/gif" shortcut. Again, this one is fairly self-explanatory in that you'll type "/gif" followed by the search term you want to use on your GIF hunt. From there, all you need to do is select from the options that appear and your chosen GIF will be posted in chat. Finally, Messenger will also be getting "/shrug" and "/tableflip" shortcuts on iOS, which will post the classic "(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻" and "¯_(ツ)_/¯" emoticons.

While the tableflip and shrug shortcuts are definitely less practical and more fun, the others are useful if only because Messenger has become a crowded app in recent years. Trying to find the Messenger Pay and GIF panels can be a pain sometimes, so these shortcuts will help alleviate that frustration. The "@everyone" and "/silent" shortcuts are available today across Android and iOS, while the rest will be rolling out in the future. Facebook says these are the "first of many shortcuts" coming to Messenger this year, so we'll let you know when the company announces more.