Facebook has reintroduced support for SMS messages inside Messenger. The feature will be made available through an update to all Android users globally.
This feature will allow users to send SMS text messages to anyone via their Android smartphone. Facebook had introduced this feature earlier, but then rolled it back in 2013 due to lack of popularity. Users can now send stickers, voice clips, emojis, and even location over an SMS to users.
Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, David Marcus, took to the social platform to make the announcement. "A lot of Android texting apps didn't keep up with the evolution of messaging, so we felt like we truly had to make Messenger the best SMS client for Android. As a result, in addition to having a fully integrated app for all your messaging, you're now able to send voice clips, stickers, and even share your location over SMS on top of standard texting features. You will now also enjoy all the things you've come to love about Messenger for all your messages, including chat heads and more," he said.
It is worth noting that users do need to set Facebook Messenger as their default SMS texting app. That can be done in a few easy steps, and then other dedicated SMS apps will become redundant. Head over to Settings inside the Facebook Messenger app, select SMS from the list of options, and then switch on 'Default SMS App'. The idea here is to get users to exclusively stick to Facebook Messenger for all chat related activity, and avoid using another app. The distinction of regular Messenger chats and SMS messages will be done through colour coding. While Facebook Messenger chats will remain blue, SMS chats will be purple. Of course, messages will be sent through the carrier from its SMS/ MMS channels, and Facebook claims that these SMS' will not be transmitted through Facebook.
As mentioned above, the feature is Android exclusive for now. There is no word on when the availability will roll out for other operating systems.