Facebook redesigns Messenger to hold onto users for longer

17 Jun 2016

Facebook has added new features to make the home page of Messenger even stickier for users of the popular messaging app

There is no doubt that, between them, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are killing SMS, but now it looks like Facebook is delivering a final coup de grace, with new features to make the homepage of Messenger even stickier.

Facebook Messenger is used by around 900m people across the planet.

The popular app is being harnessed by Facebook to not only connect people with people, but also to connect people with businesses like Uber and Spotify, to name a few.

Future Human

“Up until now, most inbox experiences haven’t kept up with the new ways people connect,” Facebook said in a post.

“So, we’ve been thinking about how we can make it simpler and easier to find what you want to start a conversation.”

Hark, the new Messenger!



The result is a new home screen that provides the most recent messages, a favourite section, an Active Now section and a section that reminds users if it’s a friend’s birthday.

Could it be that Facebook Messenger is becoming its own network apart from Facebook and that the social media giant is preparing itself for a time when users of its messaging app aren’t actually on Facebook but use it as a mechanism to just message?

“With these updates, we’re aiming to make Messenger simpler to use by presenting more relevant information.”

Fine, but my money is on Facebook Messenger carving out its own identity.

Facebook messenger app image by Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr/Creative Commons

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years