You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Facebook Cleans House With Messenger Redesign

Spring cleaning started early at Facebook: The company unveiled a new version of its Messenger chat app Tuesday that cuts down on a lot of the clutter that had found its way into the app in recent years. The biggest change: The new Messenger version features just 3 tabs, as opposed to the previous 9 tabs.

Messenger VP Stan Chudnovsky readily admitted during a press briefing Tuesday morning that Messenger had gotten a bit messy over the years. “Development is a sequential thing,” he said. “You build a feature, and then you build another feature, and then you build another feature, and they are piling up.”

“We need to be simple again, and we need to be powerful,” he concluded.

Front and center in the new Messenger interface is a “Chats” tab that offers access to a user’s recent conversations in reverse chronological order. A second “People” tab lists a user’s contacts, and a third “Discover” tab houses games, brands and all the other stuff you may not interact with that frequently.

Facebook was able to simplify some of those tabs by adding more complex interactions. For instance, users can access features like video chats and photo sharing directly from the Chats or People tab by swiping on an individual contact.

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. “Every single time when you make an app simpler, people are using the app more and more and more,” he said. “We tried to take those learnings and implement them into Messenger 4 as well.”

However, while Messenger Lite omitted some features to concentrate on core use cases, the new Messenger app still offers all of the features previously available in Messenger. This also includes Stories, which has been one of the more controversial features, with some critics complaining that the company was shoving Stories into all of its apps.

Chudnovsky said Tuesday that Stories had been “one of the most sought-after features that people want.” Company representatives reiterated that Stories were used by 300 million people every day across Messenger and Facebook, but didn’t break down how many people were using Stories just within the Messenger app. Facebook Messenger director of product design Loredana Crisan added that a number of users complained when a recent bug briefly omitted Stories from the app.

Facebook did reiterate Tuesday that Messenger is used by over 1.3 billion people a month, a data point that Facebook first released a little over a year ago. 400 million of those people use voice and video chat every month, and the number of photos shared on Messenger every month has reached 17 billion.

More Digital

  • View of the Public Library on

    New York City Public Libraries Drop Kanopy Free Movie-Streaming Service

    Kanopy suffered a blow with the decision by New York City’s three public library systems — collectively the biggest library system in the U.S., with some 210 branches across the Big Apple — to drop the free movie-streaming service, citing high costs. As of July 1, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn and [...]

  • Cameo

    Celebrity Video Greetings Service Cameo Raises $50 Million

    Cameo, a service that works with celebrities to sell personalized video greetings to fans, has raised a $50 million Series B round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins. The Chernin Group, Spark Ventures, Bain Capital and Lightspeeed Venture Partners participated in the funding as well. Cameo wants to use the cash infusion to grow both [...]

  • Gena Konstantinakos - Topic

    Topic Hires Viceland's Gena Konstantinakos as VP, Development and Video Programming

    Topic, First Look Media’s entertainment studio and digital destination for original content, hired veteran producer Gena Konstantinakos as VP, development and video programming. Konstantinakos hails from Vice Media’s Viceland cable channel, where she was executive producer, development and current series. At Topic, she reports to Ryan Chanatry, general manager of Topic. Konstantinakos is tasked with [...]

  • Martin Kon - YouTube

    YouTube Hires Consultant Martin Kon as VP of Strategy

    Google’s YouTube tapped Martin Kon, who has worked as a tech, media, and telecoms consultant for more than two decades, as VP of strategy. Kon, based at YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, Calif., reports to chief business officer Robert Kyncl. Kon will work with YouTube senior execs to help formulate the long-term vision of the [...]

  • Sonos One

    Sonos Sues Competitor Bluesound for Patent Infringement

    Smart speaker maker Sonos has sued Lenbrook Industries, the company behind the audio brand Bluesound, for patent infringement. It’s the second such lawsuit from Sonos against a competitor, which has also been using its patents to gain concessions from the makers of voice assistants. In the lawsuit filed late last week in a California court, [...]

  • tubi tv roku

    Ad-Supported Video Service Tubi Tops 20 Million Monthly Active Users

    Ad-supported video service Tubi broke its own audience records in May: Tubi, which positions itself as a free alternative to Netflix, surpassed 20 million monthly active users last month, the company said Monday. The service’s users viewed more than 94 million hours of programming in May, according to Tubi, which also claimed to have brought [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content