Facebook Is Completely Changing The Look Of Messenger

Photo: Courtesy Facebook.
Since Facebook launched its stand-alone Messenger app in 2011, it has introduced tons of new features, from in-app payments to Messenger-specific emoji. But despite all of these cool tools, the basic layout of Messenger has stayed the same — a clunky, disorganized list of conversations. Today, Facebook introduced updates that address this problem and, in doing so, made the app much more user-friendly. While you'll still see a few of your most recent messages at the top of the app, Messenger is now divided into different sections. There is a Favorites section, showing the people you frequently message, a Birthdays section, and an Active Now section that makes it easier to see who's online at that moment. All of those new components are available on Messenger's main, scrollable homescreen, so you won't have to open new tabs. With the new layout, Facebook is hoping Messenger will revolutionize inbox communication. "We thought, if we were to invent messaging today, what would it look like?" David Marcus, the vice president of messaging products at Facebook, told us. "Messaging has always been a dull, chronological thread, and while it's fast, it's not really providing a ton of value. The first couple of threads are very relevant, but scrolling and scrolling through tons of messages is probably not the best utility of a messaging app." The change comes on the heels of Apple's big iOS 10 iMessage announcements, which will make it easier to do things, such as find emoji and add fun message effects. But Messenger still has its perks: It's often easier to use when you're chatting with groups of friends, and by reorganizing your chat threads based on your favorites and who's currently online, it can help you get to important chats faster, and get immediate responses back. Messenger's big update is starting to roll out today and will continue over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out for it to arrive on your phone.

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