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New Facebook Messenger Feature to Take the Frustration out of Group Chats

Facebook Messenger is adding a new quoted replies feature that should be especially useful in group chats, where it’s sometimes not clear who is talking to who, making the conversation trickier to follow.

The new feature was announced on Wednesday, and will be rolled out to the more than 1.2 billion Messenger users who will be able to long press on a message to write a reply, which will quote the message they are responding to. Instead of placing a reply under the original message, the new feature will show the message a person is responding to, along with their answer, at the bottom of the conversation, that way everyone can see the latest update to the discussion, without having to scroll up.

The idea is to make conversations easier to follow in the app, negating the need to scroll through messages to catch up on a conversation, or to see what exactly your friend was saying “yes” to.

The update comes as Facebook has placed a growing emphasis on its messaging platforms. The New York Times report published in January that Facebook may be planning to integrate its messaging services across Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, to allow communication between the services.

Facebook has also been adding new features to Messenger that are designed to make it more user friendly and fun. For instance, a secret dark mode can be unlocked by sending a moon emoji.

Last month, Facebook introduced an unsend button for the Messenger app, which gives people a ten minute grace period to delete a message after it has been sent, and before someone has seen it. The only caveat is that the recipient will receive a notice that the message has been rescinded.

The update comes almost three years after Facebook first began testing encrypted messaging on Messenger with its “secret conversations” feature.