Facebook Messenger is getting a makeover. To go with its new look, the messaging app is also adding some new features.
As the app continues to grow, now having over 900 million people using it every month, Messenger has evolved to be more than just a platform where users can send and receive messages.
Messenger also uses chat bots to book a hotel or hail Uber, or do many of the same features other messaging apps have, like the ability to make voice and video calls, send photos, GIFs and even the company’s own emojis. Facebook also announced this week that Android users will be able to send and receive SMS messages in the app.
With all the recent changes, Facebook said that it wanted to make it easier for users to navigate and start conversations. That means adding new features to help achieve this goal.
The company’s VP of Messaging Products David Marcus announced the home screen redesign during the keynote at the Wired Business Conference on Thursday, and stated that Facebook is “taking a stab at reinventing the inbox.”
Instead of displaying a list of recent conversations on its home screen like Messenger does now, the tab will now include lots more. Recent conversations will remain there so that users can quickly access them first. However, as the user scrolls down, they will be able to see a list of their “Favorites.”
This new section includes the family members and friends the user messages the most often. That means that, even though the user might not have spoken to their sister in a few days but frequently does so on the app, they will be able to tap on her circle icon to jump back into a conversation with her.
Under the new “Favorites” section will be a “Birthdays” list to serve as a reminder that those friends are celebrating their day. Let’s face it, Facebook is the way we remember that it’s so-and-so’s big day.
Last up is the “Active Now” section, which will inform the user that a particular friend is online if thy have a green dot next to their name. The user can also tap on “See All” to bring up all friends available on Messenger.
All these changes make the home screen into more of a general inbox where users can quickly access contacts and start communicating.
Other tabs like Calls, Groups, People and Me will remain the same.
Facebook did not announce when the new home screen look will launch, but expect it in an update soon.