How do I use Facebook Messenger and what do its symbols mean?

It’s used by over a billion people worldwide, so if you aren’t yet using Messenger, why not? Here’s how to start using it, and what those little symbols mean…

With over a billion users, Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular free messaging apps in the world.

A successor to Facebook Chat, Messenger was issued as a stand-alone app for iOS and Android operating systems in 2011. As well as messaging, it lets you now have phone conversations and video calls, both one-to-one and with groups. And you can use it even if you're not on Facebook.

[Read more: Want to keep Messenger, but leave Facebook? Here's how to do it]

During instant chats, certain symbols appear. Want to know what they mean? We'll explain all here.

What do the symbols mean in Facebook Messenger?

Messenger lets you know the status of any message you send on it using a series of circular symbols. These will be visible at the bottom right hand corner of the message speech bubble.

A simple blue circle means that your message is in the process of being sent. A similar blue circle with a tick inside it means that the message has been sent. A filled-in blue circle with a tick means the message has been delivered successfully to the recipient’s phone. Finally, a small version of the recipient’s profile photo will pop up in a circle to indicate that they have read your message.

Facebook Messenger symbols

What do the chat symbols mean in Facebook Messenger?

FB Messenger Like

When you open a message to someone, you'll see some symbols at the bottom of the screen.

The four dots gives you three options. These are Voice (which lets you record and send a voice message), Location (which lets you share your location) and Gifs (which lets you browse gifs to send).

The camera lets you take a photo and send it, while the picture lets you browse your photo library in search of one to send.

The smiley face? That lets you pick from stickers, gifs or emojis to send, while tapping the thumbs-up will send a Like to the person or group you're chatting with.

Can I unsend or delete a message once it’s been sent?

You can! If you've sent something you shouldn't have to either an individual or a group, you have 10 minutes to delete - although remember people may still see it within this time.

To do so, tap the message you want to remove. A menu will appear. Tap the Remove for everyone option to do just that. Everyone else in the chat will see a note saying that you removed your message. You can also remove messages just for yourself, though they will still be visible for everyone else in the chat.

[Read more: How to comment on Facebook using GIFs]

How do I voice call someone or a group in Messenger? And how do I make a video call?

Facebook introduced voice calls via Messenger in certain countries in 2013, and video calling two years later. Users can call an individual, or make group calls. To call one contact, simply open a message conversation with that person, then tap the phone icon at the top of the screen.

To call a group, open a message conversation with all the contacts that you wish to speak to, then tap the phone icon.

Once you've started a voice call with one or more people, you can make it a video chat by tapping the camera icon.

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