Messenger has introduced several new seasonal features to enhance the holiday mood and a convenient tool to gift cash easily.
Messenger has revealed this year’s festive-themed features and effects, along with the possibility to send cash gifts within messages.
Firstly, Messenger is extending the ability for its users to easily send cash gifts in a personalized message to their friends and families for the holidays via Facebook Pay.
This feature builds on the Birthday Gifting experience first introduced last August, which gave Messenger users registered with Facebook Pay the possibility to send money as a gift on their friends’ birthday, along with a personalized message.
With the latest announcement, Messenger expands this same experience to enable its use for holiday season gifts.
The feature is already available on Android under the $ icon in the Messenger composer. Simply tapping the symbol, users can enter a dollar amount, write their greetings, and wrap the experience with their choice of holiday-themed backgrounds or gift wrap.
When the process is complete, the recipient receives a notification in Messenger and their cash gift in their bank account.
This is a viable last-minute gifting alternative for Messenger users with a linked US debit card to send or receive money, and the service is free to use.
In addition to holiday cash gifting in messages, the platform is also adding suggested word effects, new soundmojis, the Messenger Kids Santa Experience, and holiday AR effects within Messenger and Instagram DMs.
Users can already find new AR effects on Messenger and Instagram video calls, such as the one developed in collaboration with beauty guru Ashley Strong, which enhances their appearance with sparkles and shiny snowflakes appearing from their eyes when they blink.
The new holiday AR effects can be found in the Messenger app or Instagram when starting a video call or by opening the Messenger camera and clicking on the “Effects” tab.
Messenger is also making sending holiday wishes more fun by adding suggested word effects when sending messages, along with a new New Year’s Eve chat theme for Messenger and Instagram DMs.
Lastly, Messenger Kids is introducing activities and features so kids can connect with friends and family throughout the winter.
The new experiences include a chat with “Santa” activity, which allows kids to set up a direct line to the North Pole connecting kids in the U.S., Canada, and Australia to their parents on the other side of the message as “Santa.”
The Santa chat thread will stay open until early January. To activate the Santa experience, parents that have previously set up Messenger Kids can head to the Parent Dashboard, visit “Controls,” and tap “Santa Experience.” There are also some new virtual holiday games to keep the little ones entertained and some new holiday AR effects and artwork activities.