Cool Facebook app features you probably did not know

Facebook on smartphone offers plenty of fun and useful features for users


Out of the 1.79 billion monthly active users, 1.66 billion access their Facebook account through a mobile device, numbers according to Facebook. Photo: iStockphoto
Out of the 1.79 billion monthly active users, 1.66 billion access their Facebook account through a mobile device, numbers according to Facebook. Photo: iStockphoto

Out of the 1.79 billion monthly active users, 1.66 billion access their Facebook account through a mobile device, numbers according to Facebook. The popularity of the social network on smartphone can be attributed to the fact that all the Facebook features on desktop are available to users on mobile as well. Here are some of the features added to the Facebook and its Messenger app in the last few updates, which you may not have noticed.

Type in vernacular

Facebook user who want to write a post in Hindi or comment in Hindi language from time to time, don’t have to change the language settings in the keyboard every time they want to do so. Facebook allows users to type in Hindi not by changing the keyboard but by showing the Hindi transliteration of the words typed in English and then allows user to select the appropriate Hindi term from the suggestions. To access it go to Menu->App settings->Hindi keyboard. The next time you want to comment in Hindi, tap on the Hindi keyboard icon in the chat window.

Save on mobile data

Ever wondered what makes Facebook one of the most resource intensive apps on your smartphone. It is the myriad of features running on it all the time even if a user doesn’t really need them. One of them is the video playback feature which not only squanders your mobile data but puts stress on your phone’s battery. A video post in Facebook is tuned to auto play a video the moment you scroll over the post. User can override this feature and reduce wastage of their mobile broadband and battery to some extent by switching to Never auto play videos options in Menu->app settings->auto play.

Send encrypted messages

A feature of the Facebook messenger app, Secret Conversations encrypts all user communications such as chats, photos and videos with a friend keeping your conversations out of bounds from nosy authorities and hackers. Unlike WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger doesn’t encrypt every message but keeps this as an optional feature. User can access it by tapping on the “i” icon at the top of a chat page->Secret Conversation. However, users need to set a four digit device keys and share to with the other person. The person can access the encrypted message using the device keys.

Save for later use

If a post is too long or has a video embedded in it and you don’t have the time to go through it, you should try the Saves option in Facebook which allows users to save links, videos and photos they want to access afterwards in a separate section on their mobile app. To access this feature, tap on the options arrow at the top of a post and then select the item you want to save. Once the item is saved, go to menu at the top of the homepage and select saved. All your saved items will show here. While videos and saved photos can be accessed even if you are offline, you need to be connected to internet to access the saved links.

Play multi-player games

Facebook Games is now a separate category within the Facebook ecosystem. Available in messenger the section allows users to participate in two player games against their friends while chatting away with them at the same time. The section offers more than 50 games to users such as PacMan, cut the rope, solitaire. You don’t need to type in text or select an emoji to find these games. To access it go to Facebook Messenger, open a chat box with a friend and tap on the gamepad icon at the end of the screen and select any if the games on the list.

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