I just read that you can apply new themes to Facebook Messenger but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to do it on my iPhone. Can you tell me the secret?
It’s no secret that people spend a lot of time instant messaging each other. With photos, audio, live video, even apps and games available within chat and messenger, the big tech companies are trying to create entire message-based universes! In this instance, I think Facebook is in the lead with its huge variety of settings and features you can utilize in a Facebook Messenger chat, whether it’s you and a pal, a group of three or four, or a big discussion between a dozen or more people. Name, theme, colors, emoji, animated GIFs, you can even change people’s nicknames within the chat!
The first step is to ensure that you have the very latest version of the Messenger app, whether you’re on iOS or Android. You can also change most of these settings from the Web-based Facebook interface if you go with your Web browser, but the best Messenger experience is with the app. So let’s jump in…
HOW TO CHANGE FACEBOOK MESSENGER THEME
You can’t set up a default theme for all your Messenger chats, but once you have a chat, you can easily change the theme, and there are even some new themes just introduced from Facebook! Here’s a chat I’m already in the midst of with Judi:
I’ve blurred out our conversation because, well, you don’t want to read what we’re talking about, right? 🙂
Look around the edges and don’t be surprised if you’re befuddled. It’s not at all obvious how to get to chat settings! In fact, the secret is to tap on the name of the person with whom you’re chatting (or, in the case of a multi-person chat, the top bar that shows the names or group name). You get a bit more information about the person (or persons) but there’s a lot more shown:
Notice the Pay button. Yes, Facebook has a way you can send money back and forth. You can even initiate a Secret Conversation.
For our task, however, the three settings that are most important are Theme, Emoji, and Nicknames. Let’s start with “Theme”. A tap and a small window appears:
As you can see, the current list of themes include Ocean, Earth and Chill, along with the movie-themed The Fast Saga, TV series Selena: The Series and hot music release olivia rodrigo’s SOUR. They’re not all cool, but they’re fun to try as long as you have a cooperative pal in the chat. I’ll choose “Earth” and the window becomes quite different:
Quite a difference, eh? A bold update, really, and quite fun.
Or perhaps Ocean is more your speed:
If you prefer solid color themes, go back to the themes pop-up window and swipe down to the bottom. You’ll then see color schemes that go against the more traditional white background:
Note that each time you change it, your changes apply to both parties, so if you update the theme in a group chat, everyone sees the new colors or theme, whether they’re on an iPhone, Android phone, Web browser or tablet.
Definitely fun. But what else can you do? Let’s check it out…
SET EMOJI FOR FACEBOOK MESSENGER
One thing you can assign is an emoji associated with the discussion. Honestly, I don’t really understand the point, but you can do it, so it must be worth doing, right? Just tap on “Emoji” and you’ll have access to your entire emoji library from which to pick your favorite:
Themes seem to have their own default emoji too, so don’t be surprised if it changes as part of a theme update. Where does it show up? On the lower right, adjacent to the input box. Scroll back up and you’ll see a thumbs up, nerdy smiley, and shark emoji on the three different screen captures.
More fun is Nicknames…
CHANGE PARTICIPANT NAMES IN FACEBOOK MESSENGER
Work discussions might need to stay with proper names, but casual discussions are prime places to change people’s names in the chat; even your own. Just tap on “Nicknames”. A list of participants appears:
Now you can just tap on anyone and change their nickname for this chat as desired:
Now putting it all together, Facebook Messenger looks very different and a lot more lively.
This is is the color “Citrus” theme:
Worth noting is that every time you make a change everyone in the chat gets a notification. Above you can see the sequence of changing the theme to Earth, setting the emoji to earth, then nerdy smiley, changing Judi’s nickname, then changing the theme to Berry, then Citrus. But hey, all in the name of fun, right?
Now go and have some fun with your Facebook Messenger chats!
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about Facebook since it first came online. Please check out my extensive Facebook help library for tons more useful tutorials while you’re visiting. And why not follow AskDaveTaylor on Facebook too, while you’re clicking? Thanks!