Facebook rolls out redesigned version of Messenger on Android

8 Mar 2016

Facebook has seen use of Messenger grow from 200m daily active users to over 800m by January 2016

Social media giant Facebook has begun rolling out a redesigned version of Messenger on Android for all users across the world.

The new version looks cleaner and more spacious, and features a floating plus button that allows you to launch new chats.

Aside from the new look, there are no new technology features as of yet. However, Facebook in recent months has been busy integrating new services to its platform, including the ability to order Uber taxi rides and, last week, the company announced an integration with Spotify to let users share songs and playlists.

At F8 last year, Facebook emphasised its plans to make Messenger more than just a communications tool but the hub for a whole variety of e-commerce related services.

SMS killer

New Messenger material design

“If you’re using Messenger on Android, you’ve been wanting a brand new material design for a bit,” said David Marcus, head of Messenger at Facebook.

“Any major redesign of an essential app used by hundreds of millions of people around the world is painstakingly hard, and that’s why we took every precaution to ensure you’d truly enjoy this evolution.”

In January, Marcus revealed Facebook had hit more than 800m Messenger users, up from 200m in April 2014.

He also hinted that next-generation communications services like Messenger could eventually replace SMS.

“Think about it… SMS and texting came to the fore in the time of flip phones,” Marcus said in January.

“Now, many of us can do so much more on our phones; we went from just making phone calls and sending basic text-only messages to having computers in our pockets. And, just like the flip phone is disappearing, old communication styles are disappearing too. With Messenger, we offer all the things that made texting so popular, but also so much more.”


Facebook user image via Shutterstock

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