The popular social networking platform made yet another important change that was not formally announced. Facebook made a move that has probably been planned for a long time: the platform just changed the entire messaging experience by integrating the Messenger app into its desktop version. Reactions of all kinds soon appeared online.
The change brought to Messenger app was spotted by most users, especially that this time it seems to be more than just a simple beta “test.” When we look at the home page, we notice that the Messenger icon in the blue navigation bar at the top of the screen has replaced the old inbox icon; when you click on it, you go to a radically overhauled inbox, similar to a Messenger.com.
Judging by the public statements made by its representatives, Facebook needed to go more mobile. The platform is also meant to help its users by presenting them with relevant information which can be more easily accessed. Indeed, the following features of the newest Facebook Messenger version can be quite useful:
- The new “home page” divided into modules/panes allows you to see a list of the most recent messages and the friends you chat most frequently with are highlighted in the “Favorites” module below.
- You can now easily find a particular conversation, change the chat’s color, edit nicknames.
- The new “Active Now” module allows you to see when your friends are available, and the “Birthdays” module will remind you of your friends’ birthdays.
- The new Messenger includes in-built emoji, stickers and GIF buttons, and, what is more important, payment options to transfer money to contacts, and video games.
- The new Messenger is easier to use because it gives you the possibility to reorganize your chat threads based on your favorites and active users so that you might get to important chats faster, and get immediate responses back.
On the other hand, numerous users were not pleased with the new changes, stating that the old inbox layout was better and asking how they can switch back to the old Messenger (which is not possible).
The features people mostly complained about are:
- The possibility to see your other messages on the side. This can be quite distracting and inconvenient, especially when you have lots of messages from your admiring fans and exes☺
- The extra space for ads that was added on the right side can be disturbing
- The bigger version of the inbox covers half of the message screen now and this can also make the app harder to use
- the message box only scrolls to the right, so users can’t easily see the whole message to guide the feel of the message or easily check for typos. That can be frustrating.
- When users try to copy parts of a conversation and save it in word, this is not possible anymore. Also, the date and time of the messages can’t be copied at all
- Users now can’t write longer messages without their paragraphs being truncated in the composer
- Messages can’t be filtered by “unread”
- Photo sharing needs improvement
- Currently, you don’t have the ability to delete individual messages within a conversation
What users generally complained about most is the fact that Facebook complicated things unnecessarily, without doing usability studies or testing the changes in focus groups first. The loss of the inbox layout shook most users which openly expressed their complaints online. People are also discontent with the fact that the Messenger app, originally designed for mobile, is now being forced upon desktop and laptop users without choice.
In reply, David Marcus, the vice president of messaging products at Facebook, stated that the changes were meant to harmonize the user experience across all platforms, especially when the app is used by 1 billion+ people primarily on mobile. Clearly, the Messaging app needed to feel and look more mobile.
Mr. Marcus also claimed that what Facebook was actually trying to do with the New app is add more value to messaging, to make it more relevant and more interesting than before. And he promised his team would look into the features that people are not currently pleased with.
Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for Messaging at Facebook, also stated that the only change brought to the network is the introduction of the new modules, which actually put together different messages or different people. Messages have been displayed in chronological order since the beginning of the smartphone era.
The Facebook representative also claimed that there is more in store for Messenger: new modules will be progressively introduced to the app because people deserve an enriched messaging experience. The need for innovation is undeniable, especially in this field. It looks like you’re going to have to keep your eyes on your smartphones to see what the platform offers you next.
Facebook’s intent is apparently to revolutionize messaging communication, but will these new changes convince the public?
What do you think about the new update? Let us know in the comment section bellow.