Facebook has released an updated version of its Facebook Messenger app for both iOS and Android, and while it may not add video chat, it does include several features that make Messenger a more serious competitor against the likes of BlackBerry Messenger and iMessage. Read receipts are the most noticeable addition to version 1.7, with the word “seen” appearing beneath a message when its recipient has taken a look. The functionality even works when sending group messages, ticking off the name of each individual person that’s reviewed your group messages. The changes extend to the app’s live-typing indicator as well: where it previously showed a series of three dots to indicate a response was forthcoming — even when in group-messaging situations — it now indicates the name of the person that’s typing a response. Any location information attached to a message is now viewable from the main conversation view as well; previously, users needed to tap into a different screen to access the information.
The changes are a definite improvement over previous iterations of the app, which itself began life as Beluga, the group-messaging app the company bought in 2011. However, there’s still no word on when the video chat feature — or a native iPad version — will arrive.