Meta is making Messenger a lot more like Slack

Facebook Messenger App
(Image credit: DenPhotos / Shutterstock)

Meta has announced that Slack-like shortcuts are coming to Messenger to make it easier to get the attention of an entire group chat.

Just like in Google Workspace and many other online services today, typing “@” and a person's name will tag that specific person in a group chat or document. Now though with the new @everyone shortcut, Messenger users on iOS and Android will be able to ensure that everyone in a chat sees what they have to say.

When you start a message with @everyone in Messenger, all of the participants in the chat will be notified which is perfect for group reminders, impromptu get-togethers or when you need everyone's help to answer a specific question.

In addition to the new @everyone shortcut, Meta is rolling out its new /silent shortcut for those times when you want to say something in a group chat but don't want to wake up others with a notification or disturb those who live in different time zones. This shortcut is also available on Instagram though on the service it is written as “@silent” instead.

Messenger shortcuts

Meta's new @everyone and /silent shortcuts are just the beginning though as Facebook's parent company plans to add even more shortcuts to Messenger going forward according to a new blog post.

Messenger users in the US will soon be able to use the /pay shortcut to make it easier to send and receive money directly from their one-one-one chats. To use the shortcut, simply type /pay to send or request money securely without fees.

GIFs are another way that users like to express themselves which is why Meta plans to add its new /gif shortcut to Messenger on iOS. Typing /gif followed by a topic at the beginning of a message will pull up a row of GIFs that users can choose from to insert into their chats.

Likewise on Messenger for iOS, Meta plans to roll out its /shrug and /tableflip shortcuts so that users don't have to type out the old-school text based tableflip “(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻” and shrug “¯\_(ツ)_/¯” emoticons.

While @everyone, /silent and /gif could be quite useful for Messenger users, /shrug and /tableflip are more of a throwback to a simpler time before emoji became what they are today.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.