iMore has learned that, following Facebook Home, Chat Heads, and other recent releases, Facebook has additional, incremental updates in the works for their Messenger app as well. One of the updates in the pipeline is Facebook Blast, an enhancement to how users can send messages to multiple recipients.
Currently, if a message is sent to multiple friends in Facebook, it will start a group chat between all of the friends. In a lot of cases this is great, as everybody can share and coordinate ideas for the topic at hand. Other times it’s not so great. Maybe you want to get some input on a big life decision and you have several people you want to ask, but don’t necessarily want them all seeing one another’s replies. Currently you’d have to send the same message to each person individually. With Facebook Blast, you don't.
Blasts behave more like old school multiple recipient text messages. You can specify multiple recipients, send the same message to all of them at the same time, and have it start separate conversations with each of them. But group messaging lovers, fret not. Group messaging isn’t going away. In its current incarnation, users are shown a split bar with both “Group Chat” and “Blast” options at the top of their messages. Depending on what’s more ideal for the message you want to send, you can choose the best option.
While not quite as exciting as the newly available Chat Heads and stickers features, Blast will offer a slightly better messaging experience where users have more control over how they send messages.
No word yet on when this feature might be released. We've reached out to Facebook for more information and will update if/when we learn more.