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Facebook mobile

Facebook gives Messenger a new look

Facebook mobile

Facebook gives Messenger a new look

Social networking giant Facebook has recently given its standalone messaging app, Messenger, a new look as it tries to simplify it from its previous interface, which many found confusing.

The focus of Messenger will shift back towards chat and Stories after having been focused on integrating many different services such as games. Head of Product at Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky, had stated that the app had become too confusing and complicated and needed a revamp to slim it down in order to stop its most important features from being buried in the depths of the app.

One of the features it will be giving prominence to is Stories, as the company continues its battle with Snapchat for control over the “ephemeral messaging” or self-destructing messaging market. This is something that Facebook has recently started to monetise on the app in order to generate more revenue by allowing advertisers to post ads within this section of the app, after successfully implementing ads with Instagram Stories.

As part of the new design, the number of tabs would be reduced to three from the current nine, which are displayed both along the top and bottom of the app. The first tab is the Chats tab, and this includes all conversations, both one-on-one and group messages. In the People tab will be the section where users can find their friends, see who is currently active and watch any Stories that have been posted. The third tab is the Discover tab and this section will allow the user to connect with a number of businesses, play games, read the news, and more.

Furthermore, chats would become customisable, with the introduction of colour gradients, which can feature multiple colours so that users can get creative and make sure the conversations that matter to them can stand out more. Facebook has also said that it will feature a ‘Dark Mode’, which other apps such as Twitter use.

The new redesign means that it is now a rejuvenated rival for WhatsApp, which is the largest messaging app in the world, and is also owned by Facebook.

Market data firm Statista has claimed that as of October, WhatsApp had 1.5 billion monthly active users in comparison to Messenger’s 1.3 billion, meaning that a spruced up and easier to use Messenger could be on its way to changing the status quo. Chinese messaging service WeChat is in third place, also with over a billion users, at 1.058 billion.

The new update will be rolled out in phases and while Chudnovsky does not expect that it will immediately boost the number of users of the service, he does hope that it will help some of the lesser-known features reach a bigger audience.

Alan Littler

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