We’ve been exploring the basics of Facebook messaging this week. Yesterday, I showed how to send a message using a browser on your PC or Mac. (Click here to read the article.) Today, we’ll learn how to do it using a phone or tablet.

If you’re using a tablet or smartphone, you need to first install the Facebook Messenger app. When you use the Facebook app on your mobile device, you do see an icon for messages at the top.

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This will only take you to messages if you have the Messenger app installed. Let’s look at how to install the free app. Go to the app store for your phone or tablet and search for Messenger. But there’s a trick here. There are several fake¬†versions of Messenger that can pop up. You want to make sure you get the actual one.

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You’re looking for the one pictured below. You’ll see that it says Messenger¬†– Text and Video and that publisher is Facebook.

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Tap Install to add to your phone.

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You’ll need to log in with your Facebook account or you can do it with a phone number. With this app on your phone, you can send text messages, videos, and even make voice calls to anyone else who has the messenger app installed. If you do it while your phone is connected to WiFi, you won’t use any data from your phone plan.¬† To start a new message, just click the blue message icon at the bottom right.

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Type the name of the person you wish to send the message to in the blue box at the top or just scroll down and tap on their profile from the list. You can choose to send a message to multiple people.

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You’ll type the message in the box shown below.

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Or you can type the Microphone icon on your keyboard and dictate the message.

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Just tap the box to start speaking.

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Once you’ve typed the message, you can hit the Send arrow.

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Your message will appear in a blue bubble and the replies of others in a gray bubble. This list of exchanges between you and the person you’re messaging is called a thread. You can scroll back up to see your previous exchanges.

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This should be enough to get you started exchanging messages. We’ll look into more features in future articles.