Facebook Tells You More About Who's Messaging You

There’s nothing quite so awkward as meeting someone you’re supposed to remember face-to-face, when you actually have no idea at all who they are -- but getting a message from a forgotten acquaintance is a close second, requiring the same kind of fast, delicate detective work or alternatively, weird avoidance of any specific details about any subject. In the worst-case scenario it starts to look like dialogue from a play by Harold Pinter:



“how are you?”

“great what’s going on?”

“not much been a while so I thought I’d holla”

“LOL I know long time”

“how have you been?”

“awesome, how about you?”

“no complaints. Still at the same job”

“me too”

“hey are you going to that conference?”


“okay maybe I’ll see you there. We should get drinks and catch up”


“k bye”

Like ships in the night. Fortunately Facebook is working to remove some of the mystery behind the cold-call text with an update to its Messenger service that will give the recipient some background on who the text is from -- hopefully enabling actual, like, communication.

Whenever you receive a message from someone you haven’t messaged with previously (even if they’re already one of your Facebook friends) the updated version of the Messenger app will give a quick overview of information about the sender, including their location and job title, at the top of every message thread. For people you aren’t friends with, it will only display information that already publicly available on Facebook.

Facebook has been tweaking the Messenger app and rolling out new products pretty much non-stop in recent months. Earlier this week reports said Facebook is looking into bringing casual games to Messenger, and in April it introduced free mobile video calling as part of mobile Messenger app. In March Facebook introduced person-to-person payments, enabling users to send money to friends via Messenger.

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