Facebook Messenger has already hit the billion user club, but it is still looking for ways to hike app usage. The introduction of “conversation topics” on Messenger is the most recent attempt by the social media giant. This new feature offers suggestions to the users about what to talk about with their friends.

Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger app by Janitors on 2014-04-29 14:47:56

Conversation feature will help you break the ice

The new “conversation feature” actually depends on Messenger’s connection to Facebook, as it references things the user has done lately, such as where they have been, places they went, or events they attended or plan to attend, notes TechCrunch. The feature is currently in the testing phase.

On the home screen, the suggested topics have their own dedicated section. The conversation topic suggestions can be seen in the new section underneath the friend’s name. On the right is Messenger’s activity indicator showing the user when their friend was last online.

Also Messenger shows places the friend has visited recently, notes TechCrunch. The suggestions might also include things like an event the friend has indicated that they are interested in via Facebook Events or the songs they have just listened to on a music streaming service.

Facebook encourages more chatter on Messenger

Chris Messina, who was the first spot the feature on the iOS app this weekend, is a developer experience lead at Uber. According to TechCrunch, Facebook is running only a limited test. As of now, it is not known if the Conversation Topics feature is related to Messenger’s plans to come up with public chat rooms.

Nevertheless, Facebook’s new feature could assist users in striking up a conversation more easily with new friends or friends they have not talked to in a while. The feature will also have the added advantage of being a more basic News Feed of sorts as it will allow the user to catch up with the recent activities of their friends without having to scroll through the News Feed, says TechCrunch.

Also this is not the only thing that Facebook is working to better connect Messenger users with those who have similar interests. Owing to rising competition from other messaging apps like Snapchat, the social networking giant has been trying several features to encourage users to spend more time on the Messenger app.

In September, Messina also spotted a code in the Messenger app for a feature named “Rooms.”