Facebook has released an update to its Messenger app on Android that brings SMS support into the fold, allowing you to chat with your friends off Facebook Messenger without jumping back and forth between chat interfaces. SMS support was originally built into the app back in 2012 but the company dropped support in 2013 after seeing weak traction.
Unlike in Hangouts or iMessage, SMS threads are separate from Facebook messages, and they’re color coded differently too so you can identify them at a glance. SMS conversations appear as purple while Facebook Messenger chats show up as blue.
The feature is optional so you'll need to enable it manually. To do so, you will need to head over to Settings in the Messenger app (the person icon), select "SMS" and then choose "Default SMS app." If you haven’t done so before you might first need to verify your phone number with Facebook first. The feature will be available globally but it appears to be rolling out gradually so you might not see the SMS option just yet.
SMS in Messenger supports rich content like stickers, GIFs, emojis and location sharing in addition to text and images. Regular text message fees apply. SMS conversations can also appear as Chat Heads so you can keep them as an overlay while using other apps.
Between Messenger and WhatsApp, Facebook already has a massive text messaging user base, and by enabling SMS integration the company is looking to be your one stop solution to all of your texting needs. The feature will only be available in Android, however, as iOS provides no option to change your SMS client.