Just days after Apple announced major enhancements to iMessage, Facebook today revealed a significant update to its Messenger app. In a blog post, the company announced major changes coming to how users are able to start a conversation.
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The latest version of Messenger introduces an entirely new homescreen that will appear when users first open the app. The new homescreen shows the most recent sent and received messages at the top, while favorite contacts are displayed directly below that. Favorites are displayed by name and with an image.
Below that are reminders for important upcoming events and birthdays. For birthdays, users can wish someone a happy birthday with a single tap on the new Messenger homescreen. Below reminders is the master list of everyone who is currently online. As always, you can search for people and groups and start a new message from the very top, as well.
Essentially, gone is the generic “Home” tab that showed a simple list of all recent conversations. That tab has been replaced by the revamped Home interface with all of the aforementioned sections. Facebook says that it hopes this redesign will make it even easier for users to quickly communicate and start new conversations.
Now, you’ll see your conversations and ways to connect right where you need them most. You’ll still see the first few most recent messages at the top of your screen, followed by a new Favorites section, which highlights people you message most frequently, so you can quickly pick up your last conversation.
We hope to show you other things happening on Messenger that you might be interested in, too. For example, with the Active Now section, you can see that a good friend or colleague is available in the moment. Maybe that will prompt you to say hi!
We’re also adding helpful reminders like people’s birthdays so you can wish them a happy day.
Facebook’s revamped Messenger app comes just a few days after Apple unveiled a host of new Messenger-like features coming to iMessage, including larger emoji, a GIF keyboard, better image sharing, message sending effects, and much more.
Facebook says the refreshed Messenger Home interface is rolling out now to users. As usual with Facebook rollouts, however, it could take a few days before it hits everyone’s device so be patient. Last month, Facebook announced over 1500 new, more diverse emoji coming to Messenger, as well.
Facebook Messenger is available on the App Store for free.