Facebook has just announced that the Messenger redesign is coming to devices. The company has confirmed that the version 4 of the app has started rolling out, and that the rollout will go in phases over the coming weeks, so it may take a while before you get this version. In any case, Messenger v4 brings along a number of changes to the app, including a cleaner / less cluttered design, and more personalization. The company refers to this version of Messenger as the “simplified version of Messenger”, due to the fact that a number of icons have been relocated and the app looks less cluttered now. The company says that it opted for this move mostly based on a Messenger study where 7 out of 10 (71-percent) people said that simplicity is the top priority for them when it comes to Messenger. It is possible that those people referred to the number of features in the app as well (which remain in there), but at least the design has been adjusted by Facebook.
The first design change is noticeable immediately when you launch the Messenger, and chances are quite a few people will notice it, as the app now sports three tabs on the main page instead of nine. All of your conversations are moved to the left icon at the bottom of the display, the so-called ‘Chats tab’. The middle icon is called ‘People tab’, and that is where you can find friends, catch up on people’s stories, and see who’s currently active. The right tab on the bottom of the display is referred to, by the company, as the ‘Discover tab’. In the Discover tab, Facebook says you can connect with businesses in order to get the latest deals, while you can also play Instant Games, book your vacation, and so on.
Along with Messenger 4, Facebook is also pushing out new options for personalizing your conversations. On top of the ability to change nicknames, add emojis, and edit chat colors, which have been around for a while now, in Messenger 4 you can also use multiple colors to customize your chat bubbles, and the company is calling this feature ‘Color Gradients’. The company also mentioned that it is keeping “all of the features that help you connect with the people you care about”, in other words, Messenger has retained all the major features that you’re used to seeing there, it did not lose any weight along the way. That is more or less it when it comes to changes in Messenger 4, Facebook did not mention the Dark Mode, which was talked about back in May, so it is possible that it will arrive at a later date, or the company simply omitted to mention it in the press release, we’ll see once we receive the update.
Background: Facebook first talked about this update back in May during the ‘F8’ conference, and the update was supposed to arrive earlier this year, during the Summer, but it got postponed a bit it seems. In any case, back then, Facebook did mention the Dark Mode, so hopefully it will become available soon, if not in the version 4 from the get-go. This new Messenger redesign does not exactly follow Google’s Material Design guidelines, at all, but it’s the app that Messenger users are used to, basically, and Facebook seems to be ready to push its own design. This is not the biggest redesign of Messenger we’ve seen to date, but it is the biggest one in the last year or two. For those of you who do not know, Facebook’s Messenger app is one of the most popular messaging platforms for Android, the app has been downloaded over 1 billion times, and it is currently holding a 4.1-star rating in the Play Store.
Impact: Truth be said, this is not exactly a huge redesign of the application, and some users would probably prefer for the app to be less feature-rich, even though Messenger Lite is also available in the Play Store. All in all, it’s nice to see that the app’s UI will be less cluttered, at least its main page will. As already mentioned, Facebook only said that the update will be rolling out “over the coming weeks”, and it will probably arrive to you via a direct Play Store update, not a server-side change or something like that, as a version of the app needs to be changed as well.