Make Better Use of Facebook Mobile Messaging With These Top Tips

(FILES)This February 25, 2013 photo taken in Washington, DC, shows the splash page for the Internet social media giant Facebo
(FILES)This February 25, 2013 photo taken in Washington, DC, shows the splash page for the Internet social media giant Facebook. Those Facebook 'likes' can reveal a lot more than you think. Research released March 11, 2013 shows patterns from these Facebook preferences can provide surprisingly accurate estimates of the user's race, age, IQ, sexuality and other personal information. The researchers developed an algorithm which uses Facebook likes -- which are publicly available unless a user chooses stronger privacy settings -- to create personality profiles, potentially revealing a user's intimate details. These mathematical models proved 88 percent accurate for differentiating males from females and 95 percent accurate distinguishing African-Americans from whites. The algorithms were also able to extrapolate information such as sexual orientation, whether the user was a substance abuser, or even whether their parents had separated.AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER / FILES (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Facebook is great for those times when you have news you want to share with all your friends. But what about when you only want to reach a friend or two? Facebook also makes it easy to send private messages, especially while you're on-the-go. Here are some quick tips to show you how to get the most out of Facebook messaging on your mobile phone:

1. Start messages instantly

From the Facebook app, tap the icon in the top right of your News Feed to get to the messaging sidebar. Just tap the name of a friend and your message will reach them wherever they log in to Facebook -- on their smartphone, feature phone or the web. Want to know who is reachable on their phone? Look for the mobile icon.

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2. Message groups of friends

Making plans to see a movie with a small group of friends? Tap the menu icon in the top left of your News Feed to get to your Messages. Tap the new message button, then tap the names of the friends you want to message. Once you start a group conversation, you can give it a name like "Movie Crew" so it's easy to find it again later.

3. Share a photo

Sometimes you only want to share a photo with the handful of people. To add a photo to a private conversation, tap + and choose from the photos on your phone or take a new one. People in the conversation just tap the photo to see it expand.

4. Send a quick voice message

For those times when you can't focus on typing, or there's a story your friend just has to hear, you can send a voice message. Tap + in any conversation, then tap Record Voice. Hold down the record button to talk. When you're ready to send, just release the button.

5. Download the Messenger app

Want to get to your messages faster? The standalone Facebook Messenger app lets you get right to all your conversations from your Android or iPhone home screen. To download the app, go to the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.