The Messenger app is presently "too cluttered" and will be streamlined to a significant degree over the course of this year, Facebook's Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus said Tuesday as part of a larger communication meant to outline the company's instant messaging goals in 2018. The 44-year-old suggested the current state of the app is a result of the firm's efforts to ennoble the overall user experience which resulted in numerous new functionalities being introduced in the last two years, not all of which ended up finding a significant audience. Such failed features are now set to be removed from Messenger as part of Facebook's ambition to "invest in massively simplifying" the world's most popular IM service.
Should the company's attempt to streamline Messenger be successful, it may directly prompt more Messenger Lite users to return to the platform after abandoning it in favor of a less capable but also much more straightforward solution, though one that's primarily aimed at developing countries and people who don't have access to a stable or high-speed mobile service. The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant is also planning to double down on its efforts to support real-time communication through Messenger, according to Mr. Marcus. Voice and video calls are hence set to be a large focus of the app in the next 12 months as the firm continues pushing its app as the ultimate mobile communications tool. Despite its plans to remove needless features from certain aspects of Messenger, Facebook will also be adding many new ones over the course of this year, with its executive specifically highlighting group chats as one function of the app that's set to be improved going forward.
Messenger will also receive new functionalities and advancements related to multimedia sharing in 2018, with Facebook also seeking to develop new ways for people to communicate with companies via instant messages, which it claims many prefer over calling customer support representatives. Mr. Marcus also expects more brands of all sizes to continue embracing Messenger as a marketing platform this year and signaled the company's willingness to collaborate with them in their efforts to do so. Facebook is still facing some backlash from investors after its decision to aggressively overhaul the News Feed and purge it from brand-issued posts in favor of photos and status messages from their friends, with its stock still trading at under $180, i.e. approximately four percent down compared to its previously stable rate.