In most cases, real names are used on Facebook. It's all right and good to keep an eye on the ones you know, but it can make friendly messenger chats feel strangely formal. Avoid this stiffness by giving your friends nicknames in Messenger for Android and iOS, so your conversations reflect the way you and your friends communicate in real life.
Nicknames work slightly differently in Messenger than in other chat applications. For example, if you use iMessage or your phone's SMS app, you can give your contacts any name, without the contact knowing exactly what your nickname is. Messenger, on the other hand, lets everyone in the chat see and edit all the nicknames, just like the chat colors. You should take this into account before choosing a nickname that some people find uncomfortable.
Setting a nickname for you and others
Setting nicknames in Messenger is easy on an Android phone or iPhone. First, open a chat and then tap the name or group name of the contact at the top of the screen. Android also works by tapping on (i) top right. Then tap "Nicknames." Here you can see the names of all members of the chat thread, including your own. If nicknames were previously set, they will be displayed here.
To set a new nickname, tap a contact. Then enter the nickname in the text box and tap "Save" on iOS or "Set" on Android. That's it! Her nickname has been adopted and is visible to all group members. Just know that all members receive notification when you change nicknames so you do not sneak by.
Nicknames appear in individual chats and over the chat bubbles of friends in groups at the top of the thread. In your view, the thread labeled "You've set the nickname for [Name] to [Nickname]" and "Change" next to it.
Other users in the chat receive the notification "[Name] Set your nickname to [Nickname]." In their thread, the same thing happens with the "Change" option. And that's exactly what you would see if someone changed your name in the conversation.
If you want to change the nickname, tap Change and enter the new name in the pop-up window. Tap "Save" or "Set" and the new short name will take effect.
In Messenger Lite for Android, things are almost identical. At the top right, tap the vertical ellipsis (•••) and then "Nicknames." Touch the desired contact and enter the nickname. Finally, tap on "Save". You can also change the nickname in the thread itself if you or someone else changes a name. To do this, click the "edit" link in the regular messenger app instead of "modify."
What if you need to return the order to the chat? How do you undo a nickname? First, follow the steps above to change the nickname. This time, however, the nickname will be completely removed as soon as you get to the window Edit nickname .
Under iOS and Messenger Lite, tap the (x) in the Name box and then tap "Save." On Android, tap Remove in this window to permanently remove the nickname. Just know that your friend or your friends will also receive a notification for this action and can always give you a new nickname.
You and everyone else in the thread will see a warning stating that you deleted the nickname, and the warning would also occur if someone else deleted a nickname.
This article was created during special coverage of gadget hacks via SMS, instant messaging, phone calls, and audio / video chats with your smartphone. Take a look at the entire chat series.