Facebook has long been expanding its Messenger service to better compete with the numerous clients crowding the instant-messaging market, and despite the acquisition of WhatsApp, the advancement of Facebook Messenger is undeterred. Today, the Menlo Park firm has made a huge statement of its dedication to improving the Facebook Messenger app by introducing third-party add-ons, allowing developers to create apps that will supplement and improve the experience of using Messenger as a whole. Full details below.

The full-on, Web edition of Facebook has reaped the benefits of third-party apps for quite some time, with anything from games to shopping services fully integrated at the discretion of each user. Messenger, since branching off as a separate mobile app of its own, has continued to grow without really offering much to separate it from the likes of WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE, to name a few, but today, that has all changed.

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Facebook is granting users (and developers) better jurisdiction over how they use Messenger from here on in. In the compose window, you’ll be able to choose from a number of add-ons that will, in turn, give you more options when sending a message. For example, if you wanted to add a few GIF files, you could simply install the Giphy add-on and you’d be good to go.

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It’s not all about the GIFs, either. You may, for example, try the FlipUp Voice Changer to modify a voice note, or check out the Memes app if you’re just in the mood for trolling. Facebook is claiming that it already has a broad selection of over 40 apps add-ons for Messenger, and it’s clear that Mark Zuckerberg’s social company wants to push the IM game up a notch or two with this announcement. Having added novelty features like Stickers in the past, incorporating third-party devs could prove a master stroke, and will certainly give Messenger a clear edge over everything else available.

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The new feature should begin rolling out today, so if you’re a Messenger user, you’ll soon have a bunch of new ways to communicate with your friends.

If you do happen to test it out, let us know how you get on by dropping us a comment below. We’ll be waiting to hear from you.

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