Messenger is introducing some new holiday features, including influencer-inspired group AR effects, new Soundmoji options, including Taylor Swift, and a new account sharing test within group chats.
First, about the new group effects for video calls, which are interactive AR functions that can be applied to multiple people in video chat.
As you can see here, the new features include a royal crown, a retro shooting screen and more.
But it’s not the features themselves that are crucial here, it’s who Messenger has teamed up with in creating them. The platform has partnered with a variety of high-profile influential people from other initiatives for the initiative, including King Bach, TikTok star Bella Poarch and Zack King.
In that sense, it seems that this could be another step in Facebook’s broader effort to win back younger users, by teaming up with popular creators they know to raise awareness of new group AR features.
I mean, the effects themselves don’t seem overly interesting, but perhaps, by using these popular influencers, it could be a way to raise awareness, especially among their primarily younger fan bases.
In addition to this, Messenger has added a new set of Taylor Swift Soundmoji, in honor of Swift’s new album ‘Red’. Soundmojis, which Messenger launched back in July, features an emoji character that also plays an audio clip that the recipient can hear when receiving the message.
And finally, Messenger is also launching a new test of Split Payments that will allow users to do more easily divide account costs and expenses.
As you can see in this example, with the new split payments option, Messenger will automatically split the full price among the recipients, in which you can either include or exclude yourself from the equation. Payments can then be facilitated directly in the app, via Facebook Pay, making it easier to manage account sharing arrangements in an automated and transparent way.
Overall, the add-ons are quite small, although splitting accounts could be convenient and could encourage greater use of Meta’s payment tools, boosting its e-commerce, while partnering with popular influencers will also no doubt have some effect in raising awareness about these new features.
The new AR effects and Soundmojis are available to all users, while the bill split is being tested in the US from next week.
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