How to listen to Facebook messages out loud: A step-by-step guide

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    Learn how to listen to Facebook messages out loud using the best text to speech mobile apps and browser extensions available.

    How to listen to Facebook messages out loud: A step-by-step guide

    You don’t have to be a celebrity to feel overwhelmed by an influx of Facebook messages from other users. Businesses and individuals reach out via Facebook Messenger all the time due to convenience and habit. It’s why keeping up with your DMs and chat history is often challenging.

    Reading messages aloud helps users maintain high productivity, avoid boredom, and multitask on the fly. However, to hear Facebook messages out loud, you need to set things up right. This article will talk about what Facebook Messenger is and why so many people like to use it. We will also guide you step by step on how to listen to Facebook messages out loud. Let’s go!

    What is Facebook Messenger?

    Facebook Messenger, often simply referred to as “Messenger” or “FB Messages,” is a free messaging service and platform. In 2011, it was part of the main Facebook app. But in 2014, Facebook made Messenger its own separate app. This means you can chat with friends without opening the whole Facebook site.

    Today, over 1.3 billion people use Messenger, making it one of the top messaging apps in the world. Every day, these users send countless messages. You can send simple texts, photos, videos, and even files with this app.

    One big reason people like Messenger is that it’s easy to use. For example, there are shortcuts in the top right corner of the app. These shortcuts help you quickly find and use different features.

    You can also make voice and video calls with Messenger. So, whether you’re catching up with an old friend, planning a hangout, or having a work meeting, Messenger makes it smooth. If you get too many notifications, don’t worry. You can quiet them down so you only see the important ones.

    Lastly, while many use Messenger for personal conversations, it’s also become a hub for businesses to connect with their customers. From automated chatbots to live customer support, businesses have found innovative ways to leverage the platform, further cementing its role in our daily digital interactions.

    Whether you’re a student studying abroad or a business professional expanding your network, Facebook Messenger opens up a world of possibilities.

    Does Facebook read messages aloud?

    Social media users get no shortage of innovation from social media giants like Facebook. However, some features are as elusive as it gets, despite their demand.

    An excellent example is the lack of any native ability to read aloud messages on Facebook Messenger. Its absence limits the platform’s accessibility to visually impaired users, people with dyslexia, and other different-abled individuals.

    Meta is working on a feature for Facebook Messenger that will read your messages out loud. However, this feature isn’t available yet.

    Fortunately, text to speech (TTS) isn’t anything new. Accessibility technology is available and you can read Facebook messages aloud if you don’t mind using third-party services.

    How does text to speech work?

    Text to speech software does complex language processing and speech synthesis to turn the written word into speech. It takes individual letters, words, sentences, and entire paragraphs and narrates them using computer- or AI-generated voices.

    Many services exist today that can do this with your Facebook messages. However, not all third-party apps are equal. Learning about some options can help you make better decisions for all your devices.

    Three text to speech apps you can use with Facebook Messenger

    Speechify

    Speechify is a TTS reader initially built for people with dyslexia. The app has evolved over the years into a powerful screen reader, document reader, and much more. Speechify converts digital and physical text into speech through optical character recognition technology (OCR.)

    It can read Facebook instant messages in different accents and languages. Most importantly, it works on iOS devices (iPhones and iPads), Android smartphones, Microsoft Windows, and macOS devices. Speechify’s text to speech feature can read anything, from your SMS text messages to WhatsApp DMs to Facebook feeds and other notifications.

    Creating a podcast is easy! All you have to do is put your text into the app, choose the voice you like, and save it as a high-quality audio file.

    Want the Speechify app? It’s on the App Store, Google Play Store, or their official website.

    Android’s native text to speech

    If you have a Samsung smartphone or similar Android device, you probably know about the many Android accessibility tools. Designed for convenience and efficiency, tools like the native text to speech function allow you to avoid using third-party apps.

    The built-in TTS functionality is available through the Settings app on Android devices under the Accessibility menu. It works immediately with most Google apps but requires permissions for other software like FB Messenger.

    You can enable its “Select-to-speak” function to read onscreen messages and notifications. Yet it lacks many customization options and flexibility compared to specialized third-party TTS software. Unlike other apps, it also doesn’t have realistic voices and uses the same robotic Google Assistant voice instead.

    NaturalReader

    NaturalReader is a text to speech reader with multi-platform compatibility. You can use it on Android and Apple devices or as a Google Chrome extension. Designed for personal and professional use, it can function as a study aid or Facebook Messenger reader.

    The cloud app lets you upload documents, read from pictures, and make voiceovers in more than 20 languages. But, some of these features cost extra money or need in-app buys.

    NaturalReader is a good tool for iPhones, Windows computers, and Android phones. It can read from your Facebook, speak through your Bluetooth earpiece, and help you get more done by reading aloud while you do other things.

    Like other TTS readers, NaturalReader doesn’t have the most realistic voices or much accent variety.

    How to listen to Facebook messages in a browser

    While Facebook Messenger doesn’t natively support text-to-speech in browsers, there are browser extensions and online tools that can help. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set this up:

    1. Choose a Browser: Ensure you’re using a modern browser like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. These browsers support a wide range of extensions and plugins.
    2. Search for Text-to-Speech Extensions: Go to your browser’s extension or add-on store. For instance, if you’re using Google Chrome, head to the Chrome Web Store.
    3. Install the Extension: Search for “text to speech” or “TTS” to find relevant extensions. Some great options include Speechify’s Text-to-Speech Chrome Extension that can can read aloud up to 9x faster than the average reading speed, Read Aloud, and SpeakIt! Once you find an extension that suits your needs, click “Add to Chrome” or the equivalent button for your browser.
    4. Configure the Extension: After installation, there might be some settings you need to adjust. Access the extension’s options, usually by right-clicking its icon near the address bar. Here, you can change the voice, speed, and other preferences.
    5. Navigate to Facebook Messenger: Open your browser and go to the Facebook Messenger website. Log in with your credentials if you haven’t already.
    6. Select the Message: Click on the chat whose messages you want to listen to. Highlight the specific text or message you want to be read aloud.
    7. Use the Extension: Click on the text you want to hear. Then, right-click and pick the option that matches your TTS (text-to-speech) extension. It might say something like “Read Aloud Selected Text.” If you want another way to do it, simply click on the extension’s picture or button near the top of your browser.
    8. Listen and Control: The extension will start reading the selected text. Most extensions provide playback controls, allowing you to pause, resume, or stop the reading. Some even let you adjust the speed on-the-fly.
    9. Safety Tip: Always be cautious when granting browser extensions access to your data. Read reviews and ensure you’re downloading extensions from reputable developers. Periodically review and manage your extensions to maintain your online security.

    Want to listen to your Facebook messages right from your web browser? Just follow these steps. It’s a simple way to make chatting online even easier and faster.

    Can you listen to Facebook messages in the app?

    A common question many users have is whether they can listen to their Facebook messages directly within the Messenger app. The straightforward answer is: no, as of now.

    Facebook Messenger, despite its vast array of features, does not natively support a text-to-speech function for reading out messages aloud. This might seem surprising given the app’s popularity and the increasing demand for accessibility features in digital platforms.

    Here’s why some people would like this feature:

    1. Helping Everyone: Some people have trouble seeing or reading. Reading messages out loud helps them use the app better.
    2. Easy Listening: Sometimes, it’s just easier to hear a message than read it. This is true when you’re doing something else or can’t look at your phone.
    3. Safe Driving: Reading messages while driving is dangerous. Hearing them is safer.

    Even though Messenger doesn’t have this feature, there are other ways to make it work. For example, if you use Messenger on a computer, there’s a tool called Speechify. It can read messages out loud for you. There are also other apps that can read your messages, but you might need to copy the text from Messenger and put it in these apps.

    Remember to always update your Messenger app. Facebook often adds new things to it. So, even if the app doesn’t read messages now, it might do it in the future. This is because many companies want to make their apps useful for everyone.

    Try Speechify with Facebook messages

    If you’re a stickler for quality and convenience, Speechify is the best TTS reader to pair with Facebook Messenger. It can read entire feeds easily from your screen, narrate copy-pasted material, and read aloud from screenshots you took of your DMs or profile.

    Speechify easily converts text into audio from several digital and print mediums and has premium human-like voices and accents. It can make messages sound less robotic, provided the punctuation is on point, and help avoid misreading a DM.

    The built-in grammar checker, translator, and other features give it extra functionality to help users in other areas as well.

    Try Speechify with Facebook messages and anything else you want to read aloud, from your WhatsApp message history to articles and study materials.

    FAQ

    Is there a Facebook Messenger voice mode?

    Although Facebook Messenger doesn’t have built-in TTS functionality, it has a voice mode. You can use it to place individual or group voice calls. It can help you contact people without WhatsApp when you don’t have their phone numbers.

    How do I turn the sound on Facebook chat?

    You can adjust notification sounds from the Messenger Help Center. Go to the Preferences menu from your profile picture. Toggle notification sounds on or off, depending on how much privacy you want.

    How do I activate voice on Facebook?

    Tap and hold the microphone icon if you want to send a voice message on Facebook. You’ll need to have a working microphone and make it accessible to the Facebook Messenger app. Desktop Facebook users can open a chat, click the plus icon, and select “Send a voice clip.”

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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