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Facebook is constantly releasing updates that many may not even be aware of. Recently, Facebook Messenger added a feature that allows users to download and use ‘Apps for Messenger’ — a collection of apps that let users send messages in creative and/or ridiculous ways.
Are these apps worth downloading? The truth is that it really depends on what you look for in a messaging app.
Many of the Apps for Messenger that have been introduced so far are obviously intended to help Facebook Messenger expand into territory typically held by popular new messaging apps that focus on a single type of message (such as SnapChat and its time-limited photos, or Dubsmash’s lip-syncing videos).
Other Apps for Messenger focus on enabling the use of Gifs in conversation or supplying the resources needed for a specific kind of chat (such as sports discussions). In some cases, the added functionality is really cool, but most people aren’t aware that it is even a possibility!
For that reason, we’ve compiled a list of the 13 best Apps for Messenger currently available — best, obviously, being a kind-of relative term depending on your interests and messaging needs!
The Two Best Apps for Great GIFs
Is there anything more satisfying than responding to a message with the perfect GIF? I think not.
For a long time, Messenger didn’t allow GIFs to be inserted directly into conversation (leading many people to download alternative messaging apps), but with these Apps for Messenger the Gif possibilities are endless!
Giphy (also a website and an independent app) is one of the biggest libraries of GIFs available online, and now every single one of those GIFs is available at a moment’s notice from within the messenger app. The possibilities for GIFs in conversations are now truly endless.
If you send a GIF from Messenger, you may notice a dialogue box that asks you if you would prefer to download “GIF keyboard” by Riffsy. This keyboard can be downloaded through the Messenger app store, but isn’t just limited to Messenger — it can be used in all other messaging apps as well, and offers an easy way to search for exactly the GIF you want.
The Two Best Apps for Ridiculous Repartees
These apps are what the Internet was made for.
They’re ridiculous, they’re silly, and they’re surprisingly addictive. You might start by sending a single file to a specific group of friends, but soon you’re sending sound effects and lyric videos to your entire contact list more often than you’re typing out serious replies.
Sound Clips (iOS [No Longer Available])
Sometimes there’s no response to a friend’s joke that could be better than a well-timed rim-shot. Sound effects are traditionally difficult to accomplish over Messenger, but with Sound Clips you can access thousands of pre-recorded sounds and phrases to reply with the perfect sound clip no matter what turn your conversation takes.
Often words are not enough and music is the only way to communicate how you are truly feeling. Alas, most of us aren’t blessed with angelic voices.
This is where Ditty comes in. This app takes your typed messages and sings them to the tune of hit songs, accompanied by an instant lyric video, instantly enhancing whatever point you were trying to make! Classic songs are free, but you’ll have to pay to have your song set to more recently popular tracks.
The Four Best Apps for Creative Conversations
Sure, text conversations are the backbone of online chatting, but if you find yourself talking to the same person daily for hours on end you might want some variety in how you communicate.
Facebook chat stickers have been around for a couple of years now, so it might be time to move on to these apps if you’re looking for creative ways to reply to your friends’ messages!
Hook’d [No Longer Available]
Who hasn’t imagined starring in a music video? (If you’re one of the few who haven’t, you can probably move on to the next app because this one likely won’t be your cup of tea)
Hook’d offers users the chance to produce a mini music video featuring their own performances, complete with master tracks, special audio effects, and intuitive editing controls. Pull a Beyoncé and drop your new mini-single into a conversation unexpectedly and enjoy your friends’ (er, fans’) reactions!
Doodle [No Longer Available]
If your talents are less musical and more visual, or if you find that you need a visual way of communicating a concept, Doodle might be the perfect Messenger App for you!
Doodle gives you and your friends the chance to communicate via doodles — send whatever you want to your friend, and then they have the option of sending you back a brand new doodle or adding on and editing the image that you sent them. This is a great (and hilarious!) tool for any and all cooperative artistic endeavours.
ClipDis [No Longer Available]
If you really want a simple sentence to stand out, ClipDis might be your best option. Type out your message, then watch as the app transforms it into a clip with each word assigned to a (supposedly) related image.
Lark [No Longer Available]
Lark is an app targeted at those who are poets at heart, but who need a little help to properly convey the mood that they are intending. Use images and word sets to craft your perfectly-worded message, and then send it off into the world with the hope that your Facebook friends are enlightened enough to understand your art.
The Two Best Absolutely Pointless Apps
Sometimes conversations take a turn for the really quite strange, and these apps can help that process along quite nicely.
Have you ever looked at a picture and thought “you know what would make this picture better? If it was on FIRE!” If the answer to this question is yes, then Pyro! is the perfect app for you. It literally just lets you add fire to any photo or video you take, without running the risk of burning your surroundings to the ground.
Set fire to the rain. Watch the world burn. Live your dream.
Talking Tom [No Longer Available]
There really isn’t a good way to deliver bad news, so you should probably have a talking cat deliver it for you instead.
I assume that that’s the purpose of the Talking Tom Messenger app, which features a selection of animated animals that will repeat a pre-recorded message while smiling and waving at your recipients from a customizable background. You can also upload these videos to your other social media accounts or save them to your camera roll, but I’m not entirely sure why you would.
The Three Best Apps for Specific Small Talk
These apps are only useful in specific situations — but in those very specific situations they’re actually pretty great to have on hand! These are the everyday apps that you might find yourself using just because of how handy they are, and because their audience is a little wider than the ridiculous apps mentioned above.
Party@ [No Longer Available]
This app has one purpose, and one purpose alone — letting people know where the party is “@”. Create a GIF of a party you’re attending, pair it with your GPS location, and then send this information via Facebook Messenger to all of the people you know who deserve an invite!
It’s literally Small Talk 101 — if the conversation goes stale, you can always turn to discussing the day’s weather! This app really ups the ante for weather-related discussions, though.
Now, instead of trying to describe the amount of snowfall with awkward comparisons (“the snow pile’s higher than my Uncle Bart’s fishing trophy from ’99!”), you can send your friends photographic evidence overlaid with The Weather Channel’s accurate data to back you up!
Tackl [No Longer Available]
If you often find yourself discussing football over Messenger, this app could be the perfect complement to your conversations! Use the app to track your favourite teams, stay on top of ongoing matches, and create images that perfectly reflect your reactions to the game’s events while it is played. Nothing beats watching football with your friends in the same room as you, but this app comes close!
A Note on Selfies:
You may have noticed that not a single selfie-related app for Messenger was included on this list.
This is not due to a lack of available selfie apps — there are 11 of them, not including Messenger’s native picture-inserting tool. Selfies (as evidenced by Snapchat) are becoming a ridiculously popular method of communication — so it makes sense that Facebook wants to be a part of this trend!
However, if you’re the kind of person who really feels the need to jazz up your selfies, you probably also have some very specific filter and special effects requirements — it’s probably best if you narrow down which set of filters works best for you on your own (but please feel free to tell us your favorite selfie app for Messenger in the comments!)
Are Any of These Apps Useful?
It’s hard to judge messaging tools without bringing our assessments back to a single question — “is this app useful?”. I would suggest that in this situation, that might be the wrong question to ask.
Certainly, I think that there are a lot of ways that Apps for Messenger can expand, and I hope that some of these expansions bring in apps that go beyond special effects and copycat features to include functional and purposeful communication methods.
With that being said, conversations in real life are about so much more than being useful!
Conversations that are full of ridiculous inside jokes, stupid movie references, or that are hyper-focused conversations about a sport are some of the most meaningful parts of interacting with our friends and loved ones.
While these Apps for Messenger may not improve the transfer of “important” information, they do facilitate opportunities to laugh with the people you care about, and that alone makes them worth a try!
Are there any Apps for Messenger that you use regularly? Do you think it’s wise for Messenger to be expanding into other apps’ areas of expertise, or should it have remained a basic messaging app?
Image Credit: MJTH via Shutterstock.com