Facebook has introduced Message Requests for its Messenger app. The feature is aimed to let people connect with any Facebook user via chat. This would also replace the the ‘Others’ folder in the Facebook Inbox, that can only be accessed via web. The 'Others' folder is where messages sent from strangers were directed to. The Message requests feature will allow users to accept or ignore new chat requests, without the sender knowing that the message has been read. This is helpful in situations where a user wishes to talk to someone who's not on his/her friend list. This could be helpful in businesses, or in regaining contact with long lost relatives.
The new feature was announced by Facebook’s David Markus, in a post on his page. He says, “Forget phone numbers! Today, we’re excited to start rolling out Message Requests for Messenger. We truly want to make Messenger the place where you can find and privately connect with anyone you need to reach, but only be reached by the people you want to communicate with. Now, the only thing you need to talk to virtually anyone in the world, is their name. As a result of these changes, we’re removing the “Other Folder” that was only accessible from the web, and are enabling you to accept or ignore new requests without the requestor knowing you’ve read their message.”
Facebook is also rolling out a new notifications tab in its iOS and Android applications. The redesigned look will add reminders in the form of cards. These will provide information to users about their day, along with milestones like friends' birthdays, and other life events. It will also offer sports updates along with TV reminders, based on the pages liked by the user. If the user allows the app to access location, they will also get notifications about local events and news about their city, along with weather updates. Besides this, they will also also be informed about movies playing in nearby theaters and restaurants. This update is currently rolling out only to users in the United States of America. Another Facebook feature that is currently being tested by users in the US is the virtual assistant, M. The assistant is capable of buying items, making travel arrangements, booking tickets, and more.