Not Sure What to Chat About? Facebook Messenger Suggests Topics

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Trying to reconnect with an old friend online, or keep the dialogue going with a new one? Facebook Messenger appears to be testing a new feature that recommends topics of conversation based on people's recent activities.

Developer Chris Messina spotted the function over the weekend, tweeting a screenshot of the iOS app.

"Conversation topics" have their own dedicated space on the app's home screen (like the bars that highlight upcoming birthdays or active users).

It may, as in Messina's case, display a place someone has recently visited (like the Grand Canyon or Germany), or advertise the song your friend just listened to or the event they're planning to attend.

Facebook did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment.

Efforts to push people toward the standalone Messenger app have paid off; Facebook in July reached a milestone 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook itself hit that goal in 2012, while WhatsApp joined the club earlier this year.

In the months since, Messenger has introduced a handful of new functions, including live video chat, group polls, and IOU reminders.

Most recently, Facebook unveiled Messenger Lite, a basic version of the app—aimed at users in Africa, Asia, and South America—that consumes less data and works across all network conditions. Two days later, Facebook completed its rollout of secret conversations, which provide end-to-end encryption and Snapchat-like features.

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