Just weeks after notifying its users that Messenger will no longer be incorporated into its primary app, Facebook has updated the standalone messaging client with a slew of new options that makes it a whole lot faster to send a media file. Now when you start a message with someone, you'll see an array of options underneath the text entry field that'll allow you to snap a photo, select an image or video from your Camera Roll, choose a sticker, or record a voice message to include in your conversation. You can view videos and listen to recordings within the app as well. But here's the catch -- almost anything that you choose will be sent instantly with no chance for you to preview it beforehand.
For example, snapping a photo will send that pic immediately, as will recording a voice message or picking a sticker. This is pretty counterintuitive to most messaging apps -- even Snapchat lets you preview a pic before transmitting it. In our few minutes testing the app, we've already accidentally sent selfies and voice recordings to people without realizing it. The one exception seems to be when choosing a photo or video from your phone's Camera Roll, where it'll at least prompt you to press and hold the image to preview it. We can foresee this being a problem, at least initially, as users get acquainted with how the new Messenger app works.
Other features of the new Messenger include improved search and the ability to download a sticker pack by pressing and holding a sticker someone sent you. Right now Facebook Messenger 5.0 is only available for iOS, but the update should be rolling out to Android this week as well.