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Facebook’s Messenger getting a redesign

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Facebook has a lot of great social media applications, but one which I never quite figured out the relevance of is Messenger. While the messaging app formed from the direct messaging component of Facebook, I never felt it worked as a separate app and considering Facebook already owned Instagram which allowed for Direct Messaging within that program and WhatsApp, it really felt like it just wasn’t necessary and didn’t quite fit into the broader Facebook family of apps.

Messenger is about to get a makeover though (as reported in The Verge) now that it has moved over to new leadership in the form of VP Stan Chudnovsky (who used to be head of Product). The new changes will see the app streamlined and brought back in line with its core role as a functional messaging app. Part of that process has meant removing all the business-focused elements of the app that weren’t serving users and were instead only there to help promote Messenger as some kind of text-based customer service hub. Changes which can be seen below versus the original look at the top of this article:

It’s clear from the redesign that the focus is getting placed on the People section where you can see large squares dedicated to friends who have recently updated their Facebook Stories, as well as a contact list organized to promote your most-used contacts who are actively online. Discover and Facebook Instant Games are also getting removed from the Messenger app and for those that still play them, they will have to stick to the web to access these.

The overall interface is an improvement on the current version, though personally still not enough to make me interested. If you do find yourself using Messenger frequently though perhaps this redesign will make things better for you.

Last Updated: March 3, 2020

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