A common complaint about Facebook's apps (and, really, apps in general) is that they suffer from feature creep: the tendency for products to add more and more often unwanted features on top of the core functionality they originally became popular for. Messenger is a prime example of this trend, having gone from a simple instant messaging app to sort of a bloated mess. Facebook wants to make that right with the simplified Messenger 4, which is rolling out to everyone starting today.
The new Messenger is organized into three tabs: Chats, which lists your individual and group messages in chronological order; People, which features friends you may want to message and their Stories; and Discover, which is where Facebook has wedged all the other cruft that's making you consider leaving the platform, like games and business contacts.
Say 👋 to the new Messenger. We've simplified the experience to make it easier for you to find the features you like, connect with the people you care about, and personalize your conversations.
Posted by Messenger on Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Facebook says that in a survey, seven out of 10 respondents told the company simplicity is a top priority when choosing a messaging platform, and it believes that the new layout "put(s) the focus back on messaging and connecting." No features have been removed, though; only reorganized. The update actually adds some features, like the option to change the colors of chat bubbles. Facebook also announced that it plans to add a Dark Mode theme to the app in the near future.
Some users started seeing the redesigned interface nearly a month ago, but it was a relatively small subset. This update is rolling out "globally over the coming weeks," beginning today.