Facebook Messenger Testing 'Add Contact', Lets You Message Non-Friends More Easily
  • This feature allows users to chat without being friends on Facebook
  • The feature is currently in test mode
  • There is no clarity on when this feature will go live for all users

Adding to the already long list of tests that Facebook is conducting, the latest is being tested on the Messenger app. It is testing a new ‘Add Contact’ request feature that allows users to chat with a contact on Messenger by merely adding that contact to the smartphone. This means that users will be able to chat with their contacts through Messenger without being friends on Facebook.

This feature was confirmed to BuzzFeed News to be in testing by Facebook, and is being tested on a select group of people before the social giant rolls thinks to roll it out commercially. Once you add a contact, you can then text that person on Messenger. The app will prompt you to add the contact to your friends list, but you can choose not to.

The social giant already used to allow users to talk to people on Messenger who aren’t friends on Facebook, via message requests. Users will receive a notification or message request when a non-friend messages, and users can choose to either accept or block future messages after reading the request.

The Add Contact feature however could greatly simplify the process. There are several people in your Contact list that you haven’t added on Facebook. This feature enables users to chat on Messenger without the hassle of finding the user’s profile, sending a friend request, waiting for it to be accepted, and then begin the conversation on Messenger. It also allows you to add users yourself, without using the clunky message request format. Add Contact looks to eliminate all of that.

A few days ago, Facebook introduced new bots that can directly send you advertisements and subscription messages. It also introduced a new feature called Secret Conversations earlier this month that provided users complete encryption to selected conversations, and keep them on a single device only. Users also had the option to set a timer, after which the messages disappear.