Facebook's messaging platform, Messenger, is almost becoming as popular as Facebook itself. As of April this year, Messenger already has 1.2 billion users and counting—so close to Facebook's 2 billion users

Aside from being Facebook’s official messaging medium, Messenger now has a life on its own, and is in fact, evolving into an all-in-one jam-packed app. There’s more to chatting and calling in Messenger, and we’re here to reveal some of the most insanely useful (and fun) things you can actually do with it.

1. Play games

Did you know that you can actually play games on the Messenger app? All you have to do is send a friend a basketball or soccer emoji in Messenger, click that ball, and let the games begin!

In case you want a more challenging game, the Messenger have other more exciting cross-platform games to choose from. You can challenge your friends to play Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Cut the Rope 2, Scrabble, the ever-popular EverWing, and more, simply by tapping the little gamepad icon at the bottom of the chat screen. You can also play these directly when you’re on Facebook.com.

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2. Add a contact using your very own Messenger Code

If you want to get in touch with someone but you don’t want to add him as a Facebook friend, the Messenger code is just what you need. To see your own Messenger Code, just click your profile picture on the Messenger app, click “settings” and there you’ll see your profile picture surrounded by dots and dashes—that’s your code. When you scan someone’s code with your camera, it'll add that person as your contact—but not as a "friend." It’s just like exchanging mobile numbers, sans the numbers.


3. You can use the Messenger app even when you’re not using your phone

If you don’t want to be distracted by the noisy Facebook feed while you work on your laptop or desktop, yet you need access to Messenger, you can use the latter by going to Messenger.com. The standalone Messenger website offers the same convenience just like the app on your phone, minus the "likes," "comments," and "shares" notifications.

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4. Chat with a bot

Bored to death? Why not chat with a bot! You can search for bots directly in the "To:" field of the chatbox, or go to botlist.co for a list of available bots. For example, in a chat with news website Rappler, it gave an option whether you want to know their top stories or subscribe for daily updates. Go ahead and explore the other bots for your daily dose of information (and entertainment), delivered right to your doorsterps, err, Messenger.


5. Create a chatbox shortcut

This one’s for Android users only. If there is a person or a conversation you want to access quickly, you can create a shortcut on your home screen. How? Just long-press on any conversation in the left-hand column, click the "Create shortcut," and then you’ll see a shortcut with that person’s name on your phone's home screen. Now you can quickly answer your loved one's queries in just one touch!