The Facebook Messenger user base has really grown immensely in the recent past.

Today, this instant messaging app has more than 700 million monthly active users.

As this figures increases, so does the features of the app increase, a factor that is contributing to the continued increase in the user base. Just this year, this app has seen a new payment system come in, a video calling ability as well as a desktop client. Furthermore, a developers’ platform was also introduced as well as a new B2C communication for companies. However, the pace at which these features are coming in makes it very easy to miss out on some of the most amazing, yet hidden features of the app.

In this regard, here is a look at the latest features of Facebook Messenger that you are probably missing out on. In fact, after you know these features, you may even wonder how you used to survive without them in the first place.

Playing games on Messenger

Facebook Messenger now joins the likes of LINE and Viber in offering the users with in-app gaming options. This was made possible when the app allowed the developers to create apps and include in its new developers’ platform. Users can now play games like Doodle Draw, which is simply an online version of the famous Pictionary. This game can be played between friends when in a chat window.

To access the developers’ platform and download apps, start a conversation and tap on the “More” button to reveal more options. Scroll down the list to find the app of your choice and just tap on it to start the download and installation process. To access it, you must launch Facebook Messenger and again tap on the “More” button and from here, you can tap on it to start playing with your friends.

Facebook Messenger for desktop

There is always that time when you log into Facebook and find yourself locked onto your friends’ timelines and posts. With the new Facebook Messenger for desktop, this will be no more, as you will only access chat messenger services on your PC. This will allow you to access your messages without having to open the full Facebook site.

On the desktop version you’ll find a slight difference in the layout, but the rest is very similar. There are two columns where one has a list of conversations and the other has the contents of your messages. Unlike with the case of WhatsApp Web, the Facebook Messenger for desktop version brings all the capabilities of the phone app to the PC.

Location sharing

In the previous versions of Facebook Messenger, all messages sent would include details of your location which could be accessed using a mapping application – unless you manually disabled it. However, this default setting was recently dropped by Facebook and now there is an optional feature for sharing location.

To share your location, simply tap on the “More” icon or just use the location button at the lower end of the screen and send the name or map of your location to your friend.

Free video calls

When sending a message or making a voice call is not enough, there is a video calling option now available. It doesn’t matter the platform you are using or the device you are on, Facebook Messenger will let you enjoy a live chat with your friend using mobile data or Wi-Fi connection.

To make a Facebook Messenger video call, just tap on the blue video icon located in the upper right side of the message window. If this icon is displayed in grey, then your friend is not able to receive a video call.

Mute notifications

Even though notifications are a huge blessing, they can at times be the worst curse ever. When you are in a Messenger group that sends lots of messages and alerts, you can easily mute them. This does not, however, mean that you won’t receive your messages; all it means is that the messages will be coming in without making any sounds.

To mute conversation notifications, launch the app and open the conversation. While in there, tap on the menu option and from the list, tap on “Mute notifications”. You have the option of selecting the period you want the notifications to remain muted.

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