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Guide: Search Messages on Facebook, WhatsApp and iMessage: Guide
As we’ve moved from instant messaging clients like MSN Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger to Facebook, it has become more difficult to search your conversation history. Make lots of apps how to Searching for a conversation by name quickly, but actually searching to find a specific message can sometimes be a complicated job.
WhatsApp Messages, photo via Shutterstock.
The popular WhatsApp messaging service seems to be scouring the conversation history, while other platforms such as iMessage and Facebook Messages are seriously lagging behind. Fortunately there are tips and tricks for conversation search in all three of these apps.back to menu ↑
Like mobile usage continues to increase, Facebook keeps adding features to the Messenger app before adding them to the website. However, search is one area of the app that is still significantly lagging behind the Facebook desktop website. As of now, you cannot search for specific messages in a conversation in Messenger app. The only function the search bar serves is to find names of Facebook friends you have already messaged.
This is where Facebook’s website stays one step ahead as it has a powerful search feature feature buried in posts. The easiest way to access it is to first click the Messages icon in the top right corner when you are logged in. Then click on View all.
Enter your search query on the left. Initially, Facebook only searches for people’s names or conversations. Below that, you can click Search Messages to search messages for the word or phrase you entered. What’s great is that Facebook automatically organizes the results in reverse chronological order and searches all your archived posts with all your friends years in the past if necessary.
Additionally, if you click on a result, you will be taken directly to that section of your conversation history. Clicking the right and left arrows also scrolls through the results.back to menu ↑
iMessage has always had search issues and an iOS or OS X update has yet to fix them. Yes, you can go back up or search through conversations, but it is not an easy task and has limitations.
On iOS, you can display the search bar in the Messages app by dragging or tapping the time at the top of the screen. Like Facebook, iMessage prioritizes searching people’s names first rather than keywords in conversations. If it finds a keyword, that conversation will show up as a search result. Tapping it will open the conversation and highlight the most recent message that used your question.
Note: Good luck navigating the search results if you search for other instances in the same conversation as the Messages app doesn’t allow that. It’s the same story in the Messages app for OS X. It makes searching pretty much useless unless you just need to find something recent.
Flexibits, the makers of Fantastical, have a remedy called Chatology. It’s a Mac app that searches the right way, rounded up up your entire iMessage history and allow you to search conversation names or content. It goes back to the posts of the whole past year and even cleverly organizes images and links separately. A purchase might require some thought about the $ 19.99 price point, but it sure gets the job done.back to menu ↑
WhatsApp is the only major contender in the messaging war to just about perfect the art of search, especially when it comes to browsing the archives. Power users should take it into account.
Everything you need to search through WhatsApp conversations is built in. Simply pull down on the Chats view to reveal a search bar and type in what you’re looking for (Android users should find the search option somewhere in the main menu). WhatsApp highlights the word or phrase in the search results and includes multiple instances in the same conversation. It even searches archived messages. Tapping on a result will take you directly to that part of the conversation and it will be highlighted, just like in iMessage.
An added benefit of using WhatsApp is that it is cross-platform. If you’re looking for something specific in your conversation history and you’re messaging your friends on WhatsApp, you don’t have to worry about which messaging service to look for.back to menu ↑
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