Internet Security Blog - Hackology

Facebook Messenger Going Through Identity Crisis ?

Facebook, the most popular social media platform, introduced Facebook messenger (simply known as Messenger) in 2011 and removed the messaging option from the main Facebook app in 2014, forcing users to download the messenger app. Ever since then, it has seen some major changes and updates varying from its interface getting changed to various customizable options. Facebook has recently introduced their latest update for messenger  which includes a number of new features, including support for chat themes, custom reactions and soon, selfie stickers and vanish mode.

Other than this, messenger has introduced a cross-app feature where Instagram and messenger users can message their friends from both platforms by using either one of the messaging apps. This new update has also introduced a unique Messenger logo which is two coloured and different from the traditional blue coloured logo that had been used for years. Other than this, the new update also includes updated chat themes like tie-dye and love which the users can use as per their own choice and taste. Chat colours have been changed with a gradient colour pattern.

Are these changes good or bad is one thing but Facebook Messenger changed everything altogether that at times it is difficult to open Messenger on a phone because their logo looks identical to Instagram. Facebook is lately pushing their own design ideas on users, like the redesigned Facebook desktop and now these sudden changes on Messenger, which isn’t much appreciated by users.

Facebook Messenger Reacts

Facebook is known for testing new features with users all the time. Previously, messenger did not get a lot of updates as much as the main Facebook itself but after seeing the increase in use of the messenger, Facebook decided to make changes and make the app fun for the users during this time of global crises. The article will mostly focus on custom reactions, how to use and enable them.

Facebook Message & Custom Reactions

Facebook first introduced message reactions somewhere in the first half of 2017. Message Reactions are the ability to react and to express emotions to an individual message with a specific emotion, quickly showing or expressing how you feel. For example, if someone sends a picture of a beautiful painting, one could respond using the heart or love reaction or even use the wow emotion to show surprise or being impressed. 

Facebook has now updated their message reactions feature to custom reactions. Which means that the users will now be able to react using any or all the emojis available. Before this, users were only able to react to a message using love, smile, wow, sad, angry, yes and no emojis. Facebook is now moving towards making the app more fun oriented and interactive. A user is now not limited to reacting with these seven emoji but can now use any emoji as per their mood and the conversation. This new update is being rolled out in batches as per regions and everyone will eventually receive depending on their area. For the impatient users, a trick has been shared below which will enable you to get access to the latest custom messenger emojis.

How to use Facebook Messenger Custom Reactions?

Using this feature is extremely simple and easy. To add a reaction, press and hold any message, and then tap to make your selection from your choice of emojis. Previously, the default reaction options were love, smile, wow, sad, angry, yes and no. Now using the plus sign after the default emoji options, you can now easily choose from a wide range of emojis. You can now change the default emojis that appear after you hold the message to react. For this, you need to hold the message and when the reaction option appears press the plus sign on the right. After this you can see the default options at the top and other emojis below. On the top right a customize option will appear, click on it and then select the emoji you want to replace with any other emoji from the options below. You now have a customized reaction option.

How to enable custom reactions?

In case the new update hasn’t been rolled out in your region and you want to use this cool new feature, there’s a way for that as well. All you need is Tampermonkey extension installed on either chrome or Firefox. This extension allows you to modify pages and will help you to enable the custom react feature.

  • Once Tampermonkey is installed, click on the extensions in the top right and select the Tampermonkey icon
  • You’ll be greeted with a drop-down menu and on that menu select the option ‘create new script’. After that, paste the following code on the window in front of you:
// ==UserScript==
// @name         Enable custom reacts
// @namespace
// @version      0.1
// @description  Enable custom reacts
// @match*
// ==/UserScript==

(function() {
  'use strict';

  const heart = '\u2764';
  const clown = '\u{1F921}';

  const heartEncoded = encodeURIComponent(heart);
  const clownEncoded = encodeURIComponent(clown);

  const promptText = `React with:
1: ${heart} (Heart),
2: ${clown} (Clown)`;

  const oldOpen =; = function() {
      const query = arguments[1];

      // Catch heart react specifically
      if (query.includes('ADD_REACTION') && query.includes(heartEncoded)) {
      // Get replacement reaction
      const new_reaction = Number.parseInt(prompt(promptText, '2'));

      // Replacing queries
      if (1 === new_reaction) {
        arguments[1] = query.replace(heartEncoded, heartEncoded);
      } else if (2 === new_reaction) {
        arguments[1] = query.replace(heartEncoded, clown);

    // Send
    oldOpen.apply(this, arguments);
  • After copy/pasting the above code, click on file and save it, and reload the messenger website on your desktop. Before proceeding further, you have to make sure that the heart react is set to the default heart react option and not of any other colour
  • After this try reacting to a message and a pop up will appear at the top. The pop-up will display two options. Type and enter the option for reaction of clown face to check whether this worked or not. Open the messenger app on your smartphone to check and you should now see the custom reaction option.
  • If the above steps are followed, this new feature will be enabled for you. It’s as simple as that!
Facebook Messenger Customize Chat Theme Color

Future direction of messenger

A spokesperson for Facebook said that approximately 10 million people customize their themes every day. Facebook has now made it easier for the users to customize their chats. These new features have blessed the people with something to look forward to while chatting. Messenger is also working on new updates such as vanishing messages and the selfie sticker, which are Instagram exclusive features up till now. Facebook seems to be moving towards the direction of making normal or even boring things fun to use, which looks promising for messenger considering the latest update, giving them more edge in the market. Let’s hope this might be the makeover because Facebook has already deviated from it’s traditional looks.

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