There are a lot of messaging platforms available on Android out there. Most of them started as simple chatting services (of some kind) and have evolved to so much more than that over the years. Viber, Hangouts, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Facebook-owned Whatsapp etc. Chances are, you use at least one of these applications / services in order to communicate with your friends, family or business associates. As previously mentioned, most of these services have evolved into so much more than simple communicating tools.
The Messenger app actually has over 500 million downloads in the Google Play Store, and many of you would say it wouldn't have as many if Facebook didn't make people install it in order to chat with their Facebook contacts. Despite the fact that might be true, Messenger is still a huge deal in certain parts of the world and the company is constantly adding new features to it and re-designing stuff. Facebook has even opened up a separate domain for Facebook's Messenger (www.messenger.com) recently, which only confirms how eager they are in order to make Messenger a completely separate and powerful tool.
Over the years, Facebook has added all sorts of features in Messenger, such as the ability to see when your message has been delivered and seen, group messaging threads, voice message sending, video clip sending, third-party stickers, etc. Facebook has even introduced payments feature (region locked) quite recently. The biggest change this company has introduced lately is the ability to create third-party apps which integrate with their Facebook Messenger platform. You can now install GIPHY, Bitmoji, Memes, Sounds Clips, Pic Stitch, Talking Tom… and a ton of additional plugins directly from Facebook Messenger. These plugins / apps will provide a completely new communicating dimension for you to take advantage of.
That being said, Facebook has been redesigning parts of Facebook Messenger for quite some time now. The company did a huge redesigned a while back when they changed the name of the service from "Facebook Messenger" to "Messenger", which was basically the start of Messenger's separation from Facebook. The company has been altering Messenger's design for quite some time now, for example, they've changed the "seen" cue a couple of times now. When someone sees your message, it used to say "seen", that's not the case anymore though. When someone reads your message, you'll see their profile picture below the message itself now, it's been like that for quite some time now. It seems like Facebook intends to change things up yet again though.
If you use Messenger and compare your current app with the images provided down below, you'll see some differences. These images can be found on Facebook's official Messenger website, and it seems like Facebook will push yet another design update our way soon. The toolbar up top looks somewhat different in Messenger's official images, same can be said for a number of icons. Camera and Gallery icon, for example, look every so slightly different on Messenger's official website. There's also a completely new category on Messenger's website, the third option up top is "Business". Facebook didn't exactly provide much information regarding this aspect of Messenger, all they said was: "Have personal, real-time conversations with your customers," which is not that revealing. These new features will arrive soon according to Facebook and you can already sign up via the website by entering your company's name, number of employees etc.
Facebook is definitely betting big on their Messenger platform, they've invested a lot of time and money in it and it seems a ton of additional features are coming our way along with more Material Design cues. It remains to be seen when will we see the slight re-design shown off on Messenger's official webpage (perhaps it even reached some of you already?), stay tuned for that, we'll report back if we come across any additional info.