We knew changes were incoming for Facebook Messenger after last month's F8 Developer Conference, during which the focus was largely on better discovery of bots and "Chat Extensions" to add those bots into group conversations. Now it seems Facebook is testing new UI changes, including top-level tabs and a games section in the bottom nav bar.

The first noticeable difference is that tabs have been added below the search bar. Instead of having a line of "Active Now" contacts amongst your messages, both sections have been split into distinct tabs. The third of these top-level tabs is for groups, which have been moved from the bottom nav bar. These changes seem to make sense, with all of your conversations and online contacts in the tab navigation. As the most used options these are now rightly front and center.


Left: messages tab. Center: groups tab. Right: Instant Games section.

Taking the place of groups in the bottom nav bar is a new dedicated games section. Here you'll find a selection of Instant Games that you can play with your friends. The settings button has been moved one place to the left to allow the games button to occupy the bottom right corner. This kind of reordering is likely to draw more attention to the new games section, in the hope that you'll give in to intrigue and tap on the icon.

It seems as though Facebook has flipped a server-side switch enabling these changes for a handful of users, so if you can't see it yet your best bet is to give the beta channel a go. You can download the app using the Play Store link below or manually from APKMirror.

Facebook made the new UI official today.

Last month we unveiled our redesigned one-line composer that streamlined access to our various capabilities inside of your conversations. Today, we take this one step further by rolling out a visual update that simplifies navigation across Messenger.

The new home screen still has all your favorite features but is now organized around making Messenger your hub for connecting with all the people and businesses you care about. Now, along the top of the inbox, you'll see tabs that help you navigate to your Messages, tell you who is Active so you know who you can quickly reach, and a place to find your favorite Group conversations. The bottom bar features tabs to your Home screen, make Calls, take photos with the Camera button, search for People and play Games, and will also host our new Discover tab as it starts rolling out.
We’ve also added a simple visual clue – a red dot – to help you catch up if you’ve missed anything.

These changes are designed to make Messenger simpler for you - to help you get to your contacts quickly, jump into your conversations where you left off, start new chats, and stay up to date. This will be rolling out worldwide on iOS and Android this week. As always, we hope you enjoy the latest updates and can't wait to hear your feedback.

  • Thanks:
  • Gurkanwal Singh,
  • Kavan Trivedi,
  • Kapil,
  • Elias