If you’ve used Facebook chat or Messenger, you might’ve noticed something a little different: Facebook is testing adding GIF and attachment buttons.
Though not all users have the feature yet, over the past few days some users have noticed the feature, including yours truly. If you open up a chat window on Facebook.com, the new icons will appear next to the old send money, photo, and stickers buttons. These also now appear below your text instead of to the right of it.
For comparison, this is what the old chat window looked like:
And here’s the new look:
Clicking on the GIF icon will show a list of GIFs which appear to be selected at random, as well as a search box which indicates you are searching for “GIFS & stickers across apps.” That’s interesting, as so far app support has been limited to mobile devices, and today’s update doesn’t indicate anything about it is different – it could be indicative of future support to come.
The GIF support is also notable as even on mobile, you’d have to download a separate integrated app like Giphy before you could search for and share GIFs. Now that the button is available without any extra software means you can expect your friends to use a lot more GIFs in your conversations.
The same goes for attachments. In fact, you could already attach any sort of file to Facebook chat, but you’d have to first click on the gear icon and then select ‘Add Files.’ It’s possible many users never realized the functionality was available, so the icon’s prominent new location should make files sharing a lot more common. It’s also another sign that Facebook sees Messenger as its competitor to email.
By the way, you may also hear a new notification sound when someone messages you. It’s a little more ‘bubbly’ sounding instead of the old quiet pop. The like button got a little bi
While Messenger mobile hasn’t received an attachment button, for GIFs, there’s now a little search icon instead that appears below your text box.
Clicking this will show several animated images you can scroll through – many of the same shown on the desktop, for me – and you can search for specific types as well. It also reads that it is searching across all your apps.
Not everyone will see the new feature right away, as it’s likely only a test; it only showed up for me today, while my coworker has had it for a few days. Still, Facebook tests have a tendency to see a wider rollout, so I expect it’ll show up on more computers soon. We’ve contacted Facebook for more information and will update this post if we hear back.