Taking on the competition, Facebook is testing a 'Streaks' feature in Messenger that is also used by Snapchat. The Menlo Park, California-headquartered company has also added 4K resolution support to its messaging service to uplift the visual experience. The latter feature is arriving for both Android and iOS platforms.
The first of the two updates to Facebook Messenger is the availability of Snapchat-like streaks feature that has been reported by certain users. The new feature would help Facebook to enhance engagements by letting users have a continuous conversation with their contacts. As spotted by Twitter user Case Sandberg, Facebook Messenger shows a lightning bolt icon next to the name of a person you have messaged for at least two days in a row. A counter is also available alongside the streak icon to reveal for how many days you both have been chatting on Messenger.
In a statement to Mashable, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the presence of streaks. The spokesperson stated that the feature was in testing to let you "see at a glance fun facts" about the people you have spoken with on Messenger. It also adds that the feature will be visible if the person has been messaged at least "three days in a row". Although the formal comment does not reveal an expansion of streaks, the feature could arrive on other Facebook-owned properties including Instagram and WhatsApp following its success on Messenger.
In addition to streaks, Facebook Messenger is receiving 4K support take the visual communication to new levels. The new support enables you to send and receive photos in up to 4096x4096 pixels resolution.
Despite supporting larger images, Messenger is touted to make it quicker to upload your favourite memories. Of course, you won't have an as fast experience as the lighter version of Messenger offers on Android devices. But in the latest case, you have the ability to zoom into your memories to see the subjects and objects in detail.
You don't need to select any specific settings to send 4K photos to your contacts. However, the latest version of the Messenger app is required to enable the new experience. Facebook has started rolling out the 4K resolution in the US, Canada, France, Australia, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. Other regions will receive the same update in the coming weeks.
As of September, Facebook Messenger has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users worldwide - on par with WhatsApp that reached the same milestone in July. The messaging service also offers a platform to third-party developers to host their apps and games in addition to features like bots, video calling, and peer-to-peer payments.