Facebook Messenger update changes how I chat [APK download]

Starting this week, users of both Android and iPhone (or iPad) devices will see a change in Facebook Messenger. In the app they'll be able to converse with their friends and associates in a brand new way. While before, Emoji icons were allowed to be plugged in and seen, now Reactions are available too. Mentions are also about to become available to the masses – just in case I'm speaking about someone that I need to link to.

Instead of just reacting with an Emoji, requiring sometimes several characters to be typed out in sequence, Reactions are moving to Messenger. Facebook Messenger has not had reactions other than the Thumbs Up – which has been in the app for some time now. Much like the thumb, reacting to a message can be done in a very small or a very big way. Or a medium way, if that's how you feel about it, Janice from Accounting.

Much like Reactions in the main original Facebook app and in Facebook in web browsers on desktop computers, these Reactions are limited. Users will be able to select from one of several Reactions to let their intentions be known. These include Love, Smile, Wow, Sad, Angry, Yes, and No. This is slightly different from Reactions on Facebook, too – it's not quite so easy to say NO to a photo.

Here though, as you're either speaking one-on-one with a person or in a group message, all reactions are easier to explain – if need be. It's still baffling that the Thumbs Down is now active after so much hubbub was made about it in years past. The Dislike button, as some refer to it, likely has the world record for most conversations held about a single graphic element in a social network.

Mentions are also active starting this week. Starting a name with an @ (at) symbol allows the user to select a name from a list. This person mentioned will be pulled into the conversation in a way that was not available for Messenger ever before. Users also have the option to turn off notifications of Mentions in Facebook Messenger too, if they do so choose.

At this time it does not appear as though the update is live for all, but for some! Have a peek at the iTunes appstore for iOS devices to see if you're up to date for iPhone and/or iPad. Android users should check either APK Mirror or Google Play to see if the update has dropped.