Published: Thu, October 25, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Facebook Messenger 4 is simpler and far, far less ugly

Facebook Messenger 4 is simpler and far, far less ugly

What a wild concept that people just want to use Messenger to message their friends and family without rummaging through a clunky UI.

The big camera button at the bottom of the screen that encourages users to post stories is gone in the new app, with a smaller camera icon now at the top of the screen in the chats tab next to an icon for sending a written message.

Discover meanwhile is business-focused, created to connect people with businesses, make travel bookings, and play games.

Facebook announced Messenger 4, which significantly simplifies the interface. The company showed off a new, redesigned version of the app, which is starting to roll out to users now.

At an event in Facebook's new San Francisco headquarters, the company admitted that Messenger had gotten bloated over the years.

While the earlier versions of Facebook Messenger included a "Discover" tab, Messenger 4 will give more prominence to the area of the app where users can find and communicate with businesses directly.

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The social media giant added the tabs present on Messenger would be drastically reduced from nine to three. For example, Groups is no longer an explicit tab in Messenger, mostly because the team discovered that people tended to build out a group conversation from one person to many, rather than going to the Groups tab directly.

Another change coming to Messenger won't be available in this update, but Facebook plans to add a Dark Mode to its messaging app.

According to Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Facebook Messenger, "Messenger 4 will gradually roll out globally over the coming weeks". There are also 300,000 active chatbots on Messenger, which is the same number Facebook said in May, suggesting that businesses have stalled their chatbot projects over the past several months. So you can still play games, make polls, and more.

In addition to the new simplified look, Messenger is also introducing a new color gradients feature as a way to personalize your conversations and customize your chat bubbles.

Chudnovsky said that the company took some cues for the new Messenger design from Messenger Lite, its pared-down app for less powerful phones and user sin emerging markets.

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