Facebook's new Messenger beta program is already making great strides with a jump to v4.0. You'll have to be in the beta program to get access, but it's quick to set up. Once opted in, you'll get to check out a few interesting new features in Facebook's chat app.

2014-03-28 20.11.39 2014-03-28 20.13.11

Here's the changelog for v4.0, which will not show up unless you're in the beta program.

  • Groups: Now you can create groups for the people you message most. Name them, set group photos and keep them all in one place
  • Forwarding: Want to send a message or photo to someone who isn't in the conversation? Just tap to forward it on
  • Conversation Shortcuts: Create a shortcut so that you can get to any conversation right from your home screen
  • Plus, continued improvements to make the app faster and more reliable

If you chat with the same people on a regular basis, the groups feature will be handy. In the same vein, Home screen shortcuts ought to make it easier to jump into a conversation without opening the Messenger app itself. The beta update is live now for everyone in the program, and it's using the new split changelog system. If you see v4.0 changes listed in the Play Store, you're enrolled in the beta.

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • spacekobra

    Probably the best thing to come out of facebook.

  • Vin铆cius Philot

    one just can't take Facebook mobile seriously when it's way faster to just type "f" on chrome and wait for it to load. I don't care much about Messenger when their standard app is bulshit.

    • Chris P

      The best part? If the Facebook app *is* updated, it'll probably be with the iOS 7 design language...

  • Andrea Bittau

    Soooooo, Fb can do a "beautiful" msg app.. but can't improve its own diamond app...
    why ? stupid idiot... -.-'

    • ignitionnight

      Two completely different teams working on it I bet. Facebook bought Beluga which turned into the FB Messaging app, I bet they still have the same team working on this and the main app still has the old team working on it.

  • yahyoh

    annnnnnnnnnnnd im still waiting for the new facebook design :/
    everytime i see the new facebook messenger then i open the facebook app im like


    • Histirea

      The Facebook app's design is shitty either way, new or not.

      • http://twitter.com/qngml KONG!

        And I'm still using it 馃槀

  • alfuen00

    Great I love it more than whatsapp gorgeous design and fast messaging

    • Dario 路 753 a.C. .

      fast?? you can use messenger only on 3g.. in 2g it says network is assent

      • alfuen00

        Sorry I only have 4G LTE coverage in my city don't even know 2G still exist where you live? Ten years in the past?

        • Dario 路 753 a.C. .

          very nice.. no, i live in italy, specially in a suburb of rome, and here it's difficult in some cities to find a 3g area out as well.

          4G, now, is only for some areas of the biggest cities such as Roma, MIlan, Napoli etc etc

          • alfuen00

            Are you talking serious? Dame I thought Europe have better phone coverage and technology, I live in M茅xico and by far the big phone provider had 4G in the 60% of the country and 3G in the rest, well I hope it arrives soon to your place your life will change hahaha 3G was horrible slow here but when lte arrived last year wow everything changed for good

          • Dario 路 753 a.C. .

            yea. i don't know how the situation is in the other countries of europe but in italy it's not so great.

            they started installing 4G, but until now it's only for a little part of the biggest cities.

            in fact, rather than starting to install 4G, i preferred to have 3g everywhere and a stable 3g because the switch from 3g to 2g happens really often and there are a lot of populated areas not covered by 3G tho.

            anyway, i hope i'll enjoy 4g soon or later :)

  • Armando Rodriguez

    Whatsapp features on FB Messenger :p

  • Martin

    Why in beta... On my iPhone got it today.. Again android later.. Sick of it!

  • Guest

    I've had there new UI for about 2-3 weeks now and though it is an improvement from the old, Its full of inconsistency's and tonnes of elements from the old design. Plus it's 10x as buggier and crashes much more.. If that's even possible?

  • Callum

    I've had there new UI for about 2-3 weeks now and though it is an improvement from the old, Its full of inconsistency's and tonnes of elements from the old design. Plus it's 10x as buggier and crashes much more, If that's even possible....

  • Dario 路 753 a.C. .

    i think their best bet is to reduce ram usage. i can't stand it anymore.
    30mb for messenger
    100mb for facebook.

    then why don't they think to use the same way that cerberus, telegram and skype lately as well? they use gcm to receive notification.

    after last skype update it doesn't stay anymore in ram and i receive messages and calls just in time.

    i think every app should think to use a way like that or we'll need ever more ram

    • andy_o

      Both FB and FB Messenger use GCM. You can even greenify them and can be woken up by GCM.

      • Dario 路 753 a.C. .

        yeah.. i know that.. maybe i didn't explain well what i think.
        they already use gcm and that's right, then they gotta remove all those processes from background specially in case i unchecked notifications, sync and all that stuff.

        the matter is not "use gcm or not", but "using gcm in order to get rid of all those services in background".

        i knew greenify, but unfortunately i got a galaxy ace and although it has CM11 as well, the only rom running well is CM7 and greenify is not compatible. anyway greenify could be a good tip in this way only for all those users having root.

  • RiTCHiE

    Fuck you FaceBook!

    • Squiddles


  • Suraj ES

    sms integration was so usable..i'm hoping they get that back..so that i can use it as a default sms app..oh chat heads ...i miss you....

  • theunknown

    Hasn't that feature set been a part of Whatsapp for a long time now?
    Maybe FB pulled a branch of code from whatsapp and merged in into their own.

    • Ambroos

      Yeah that's not how branching and merging works.

  • Alvinpck

    How do we create the group shortcuts? I can't find it

  • As

    There's a fb app called KLYPH. Looks like Google plus so yea, really stands out. The official fb app is a shame.