Conversations - In Facebook Messenger

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If you have worked with me on any sort of project, you'll know that I like to bounce out of the email medium pretty quickly. Emails are fine for a single question and response types of exchanges. Maybe you even go back and forth in emails a couple times and email still is ok. But beyond that, emails get messy for longer conversations. 

First of all, I hate tripping over all the email signatures, their signature and then your signature, repeatedly, as you trace back down through the conversation. It's like driving down a perfectly good road that has been ruined by a series of speed bumps that is just one huge jarring experience.

Additionally, back and forth email conversations are in reverse order as you try and play them back to the start. Moreover, each reply includes the original text duplicated, so you have to skip over that dual text as you scroll down and down and down.

You often find yourself typing in a different color so your newest thoughts stand out over the older thoughts.

Does any of this sound familiar? I find all of this terribly inefficient and cumbersome. 

Messaging apps (aka Chat apps) therefore are much more conductive to conversations. There's a back and forth exchange in chronological order (can you imagine that? how novel!)

Messaging apps enable conversations in real time. When you see a note "so-and-so is typing" then you realize the next message is coming soon. In this "instant messaging" mode, you go back and forth sharing ideas in quick succession. The conversations are oftentimes asynchronous. What I mean is, that you share a  thought but you realize it may be a few hours before you get a response. But that's okay too. You'll see the little 'message read' indicator has not appeared yet so you know they haven't seen it. Or even if they have seen it, they are quite likely busy on something else and you just have to wait a bit. Some people are a little more patient than others for waiting. Just because they saw it instantly doesn't mean they have time to reply instantly. Not being impatient for the instant reply is the desired etiquette here.

One of the other key components that makes any particular messaging platform successful is being able to pick up the conversation both on your computer and on your mobile device. I can type far more rapidly and accurately on a computer keyboard, so I'm always happier to be able to do that in messaging apps. In contrast SMS messages are much more oriented around typing on your phone! (note, there are exceptions like having iMessage on your Mac or the Microsoft Phone Link app to get your android phone paired to your Windows PC. If either of those cases are true, you can send messages into the SMS world via your computer keyboard)

Recently, I did an informal poll to see what messaging platform people liked when they moved out of email mode. I also wanted people to share what they use when they move beyond the SMS/iMessage style communicating. (because of the important consideration of being able to message also beyond just on a mobile device).

The top result of that poll indicated that quite a few utilize Facebook Messenger.

I also use Facebook messenger often. It meets that criteria for me of being able to switch between mobile app and desktop. The other thing that makes this successful is that most people are already in Facebook so there is nothing more to sign up for or install. That is a slight barrier for some for otherwise better messaging apps (i.e. requiring that the people you want to talk to need to sign up for and/or install something new)

Notice the snapshot below. This is probably the way most people do Facebook messages and I rather detest this communication interface. Notice how small and cramped the messaging area is!

However, the good news is, you don't have to stay in this cramped interface. The trick is knowing how to break out of it and once you do, it changes the whole perspective! Notice how this looks below:

In this "messenger view," the conversation area gets a nice expansive area in the middle of the window. You can switch conversations to different persons (or groups) in the left side pane. On the right side pane, you can opt to view all the media/image files that have been shared back and forth with a person. This is helpful in reviewing an image you wanted to see again.

So how do we get to the "messenger view" shown above? There are a couple of ways you can do this. One way, is while you are in the regular Facebook news feed, notice the messenger button at the top right of the window. When you click that button, a secondary button appears below, "see all in messenger." This is one way to get to the expanded conversation view. The second way to get there is my favorite way to do it, just open a new browser tab and go to How simple is that?

If you find yourself utilizing Facebook Messenger for conversations, the next thing on your checklist should be to get the app for your mobile phone. This is important so that you can get notifications of new messages and you can choose to reply to them at that moment, or just be aware that there is a new message waiting and you can reply to it when you have more time. If you aren't aware of a new message and you don't go to your Facebook feed very often, this will be a deterrent to others wanting to use messenger to communicate with you.

Finally, we might rightly bring up the privacy issue. We can question whether or not we should let Facebook be privvy to what we are saying to others. To that, I reason the following way. How much do I pay for Facebook? oh right, $0 per month. Does that mean that these companies are providing a free service? Not at all! They benefit financially primarily by serving ads to us. Not only ads, but targeted ads.  That means that advertisers have the ability to choose an audience that is more likely to buy their product or service. How can they provide targeted ads? We give them permission to see what we like in our newsfeed and they see what we talk about in our conversations and can use those interests to target ads that match our tastes and interests.

Quick example: We just adopted another cat (his name is Seamus 😺). I've noticed recently that many of the ads shown to me have migrated to include pet supplies. I'm ok with that! In fact I found the most amazing litter box that I may have never discovered otherwise. Now, to me, that's better than showing me ads for instance for a new car (which I am not in the market for right now). I'm ok with targeted ads. I'm not ok with paying Facebook $9.99 a month to get rid of ads. So seeing ads is a fair price in my mind. That is the cost.

Anyway, that's how I reason. Your opinions may vary but maybe that adds a little perspective to the topic.

So Facebook messenger then... A good place to have conversations? I think so. There are other apps and services that also I recommend for having conversations. But that's for another day! Meanwhile, I hope you learned something new today about Facebook Messenger.

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Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
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Comments (18)

Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Craig - effective communication is always good.  Of course, that varies with the individual.  Finding the best method can be a "test" where various exams seem become a part of the lesson plan.  

Nov 25, 2022 05:33 PM
Craig Daniels

Michael Jacobs - I like to recommend and nudge, but ultimately it will vary widely with individuals and what they like. Meanwhile, me being flexible helps go with whatever works.

Nov 25, 2022 06:03 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I'm with you on this one Craig!  My only issue with messenger is too many impersonations this past years, not just for me but many others.  Thanks to you I figured out how to deal with it.


Featured in BananaTude!  Excellent information - Thank you!


Nov 25, 2022 08:57 PM
Craig Daniels

Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker - Yes they steal your profile photo and go out and try to invite people you are already connected with. So disgusted with fraudulent people!

Nov 26, 2022 05:29 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten

I am sure we all are Craig.  Now I stop it, fix it and move on and know they''ll most likely do it again.

And on a lighter note....


Enjoy the Holiday Season!  Cheers!

Nov 26, 2022 09:42 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I use Messenger, but prefer texting instead of the Facebook app. And I may be the exception to the rule, but I actually enjoy email to messenger. I use email if I'm sending instructions to clients or writing something that is lengthy. I agree with you that the duplicate signatures trip up the flow of conversation, and if it's a message that needs to be delivered immediately, I'll use text. The only time I receive a message via Messenger is from someone I either don't know or an acquaintance. The only time I send a message through Messenger is to someone whose phone number I don't have.

Nov 25, 2022 10:18 PM
Craig Daniels

Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty - all good points. In my projects (web design/tech support/etc) - I tend to have longer conversations and email gets all tangled up for this. Longer instructions like you said still are excellent in email form. Text messages are good for short check ins. Longer conversations though, give me a computer keyboard and a good messaging app. :)

Nov 26, 2022 05:31 AM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Company - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

Always learn something new from you. I like Chat because I'm not on FB that often, but your suggestions, as always, are spot on!

Nov 26, 2022 12:32 AM
Craig Daniels

Mimi Foster - FB hides one of the best features of their chat platform and that is the standalone messenger workspace. ah Facebook, we love to hate you ;)

Nov 26, 2022 05:31 AM
Mimi Foster

I trust you. I'm going to download it. 😱

Nov 26, 2022 11:37 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Craig- I couldn’t agree more about trying to follow a thread in email! I tend to use texting more than Facebook Messenger but I often use it when someone else has messaged me that way 

Nov 26, 2022 04:56 AM
Craig Daniels

Kathy Streib - did you learn about how to easily get to messenger workspace? not sure if you knew that already. game changer for having longer conversations rather than the tiny pop up box

Nov 26, 2022 05:33 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Thank you for another jam packed post! I'm not a fan of Facebook Messenger and only use it for those people who insist. :-) I'd much rather use text messaging!

Enjoy your day, and I look forward to hearing from you on Tuesday!

Nov 26, 2022 05:23 AM
Craig Daniels

Kat Palmiotti - for you apple to apple people, you can iMessage each other and use the computer keyboard instead of the typing on the mobile phone. For us PC people, we need a non-apple communication mode. That's why I like FB Messenger, Google Chat, and Whatsapp for talking with both apple/android/PC/mac/all of the above!

Nov 26, 2022 05:35 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I have to admit, Craig, I am not a fan of Messenger. People who use that platform to communicate with me know I rarely check in.

Nov 26, 2022 05:55 AM
Craig Daniels

Nina Hollander, Broker  Yes, I understand. That's where the mobile app for messenger helps (you see a red dot/message waiting indication). But that's just an option I wanted to share with everyone to be aware of.

Nov 26, 2022 06:30 AM
Number Cruncher LLC - Overton, NV
Helping Taxpayers Resolve IRS problems

Very good points. I never thought of using Facebook Messenger this way.  Thank you.

Nov 26, 2022 11:25 AM
Craig Daniels

CANDACE (Candy) STEVENS, EA - Facebook hides the best view of messenger... hopefully I'm helping to uncover it for those reading my blog

Nov 27, 2022 09:23 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Craig thank you for the advice and great information as always.  I have not used Messenger much, but after reading your blog I may reconsider that. 

Nov 26, 2022 01:43 PM
Craig Daniels

George Souto - I'm not super thrilled with FB either, but I find it is where a majority of people are already there... so it acts like a good bridge at least for starters.

Nov 27, 2022 09:25 AM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, Craig.

I'm going to "bookmark" this post for future reference. I'm not a fan of Facebook and I left all other social media for ActiveRain. 

As of now, I have no plan to use Facebook, Twitter, etc. other than AR. But things always change. I have changed, my business has changed, and my whole life is changing. 

Thank you for the post. As always, I'll keep it bookmarked because of you and I have a ton of respect for your teaching and expertise.  

Nov 26, 2022 09:38 PM
Craig Daniels

Thanks Aura Alex - Happy that you read through these thoughts anyway. As we communicate with each other these day digitally, it's good to know the various options out there that can help us.

Nov 27, 2022 09:26 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You always give the best tips, I look forward to each and every one of your blog posts!!!  I don't communicate much in Facebook messenger but from time to time I have and I always appreciated being able to expand my view.  I communicate most often via regular text message but also use WhatsApp quite a bit.

Nov 27, 2022 05:21 AM
Craig Daniels

Thanks Brian England glad you enjoy the things I share. Here's another tip for you, go to and you can link to your phone and be able to not only see your messages but reply to them as well (on the computer keyboard!)

Nov 27, 2022 09:28 AM
Brian England

Thanks, Craig Daniels I have done that before and I do the same with text messages from my phone.  I love being able to type on a regular keyboard!

Nov 27, 2022 10:32 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

You're actually the only person I "talk" to on Facebook messenger. Your explanation makes so much sense - I couldn't figure out why you liked it. But . . . what if you need to keep the conversations readily available in folders like what's available in most email programs?

Nov 27, 2022 12:55 PM
Craig Daniels

That's a good question Margaret Goss about saving a copy for record (hardcopy or PDF). FB has a "download my data" feature that you could print from. There's a bit of a roundabout process to it though. Google chats are much more easier to review and archive and that's one of the reasons it's my preferred chat platform given the choice of all available.

Nov 27, 2022 01:26 PM
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond

Hi Craig & hope you & yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving...I always come back to read your inciteful hints & learned again something new!  ty

Nov 28, 2022 04:09 AM
Craig Daniels

Always to happy to see you pop back up on my blog posts Ginny Gorman - glad to share tech tips... new and helpful

Nov 28, 2022 09:05 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Craig,
Thanks for another excellent post. I agree with the confusion with back-and-forth email strings.  I do like the ease and organization of Messenger but, like Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker, hate all the cloners and fake people. It takes so much diligence. 

I stumbled upon the "expanded Messenger" option one day and did love it. Thanks for the reminder and how that actually happened. 😊

Nov 28, 2022 08:19 AM
Craig Daniels

Thanks Carol Williams for checking in. Facebook does a really great job of hiding a very useful feature! smh ... anyway, it's good to get a reminder how to get there again. Meanwhile, any gmail user to gmail user chats are better in google chat sidebar IMO, but that's for another post ;)

Nov 28, 2022 09:10 AM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Broker | Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Thanks for this great tutorial on FB messenger. I am more a fan of whatsapp. I use text and email for all professional communication due to need to keep a digital record. Frankly, I keep working to keep it simple...and often I will actually use the phone!

Nov 29, 2022 08:07 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post!  Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day!

Feb 12, 2023 07:57 AM
Charles Ross - eXp Realty LLC
eXp Realty LLC Salina Group - Salina, KS
Love To Help People

Thank you for the Information.  Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

Apr 01, 2023 07:13 AM