Facebook Messenger is testing a new feature that will make the app entirely more useable for some individuals: the ability to request adding a contact with another Messenger user rather than having to add that individual as a ‘friend.’ The new feature is aptly called ‘Add Contact,’ and would exist between Facebook friendship and messaging someone sans any formal affiliation with them; you can, for now, message someone who isn’t a friend by sending them a message request.
Facebook confirmed the new feature to Buzzfeed recently; with it, someone could add another Messenger user as a contact, making it easier to stay in contact with them, but without having to tie them into the other aspect of Facebook — your personal page where you may have personal stuff you don’t necessarily want a particular individual to see.
Facebook Messenger usage continues to grow, and many individuals use it more than their ordinary Facebook account…or use it exclusively, ignoring the regular Facebook product altogether. Facebook has focused heavily on growing Messenger, and has made it one of the most varied and functional messaging platforms currently available — you can use it to send money, for example, order an Uber or Lyft car, and a bunch of other things.
Part of Messenger’s evolution, though, involves shedding some of its limitations — by, for example, adding messaging requests — and filling the gaps with different but similarly functional alternatives — like, apparently, adding contacts instead of friends. This move will no doubt be particularly useful for businesses and other groups of individuals who need to message each other frequently but don’t necessarily want to be Facebook friends, and could result in an entirely new set of Facebook user networks separate from the main Facebook product.
Whether the feature will be rolled out to everyone, though, is yet to be seen.