Facebook announced a new refreshed user interface for its standalone Messenger application that brings about subtle yet important changes in the way the service functions.
The most in-the-face change is the addition of three new tabs – Messages, Active and Groups – around the top. This, Facebook believes should help provide you with a quick glance of who all are available to chat at the moment, something that otherwise requires you to scroll through to find out who among your friends are online.
Likewise, the new UI also seeks to display who all tried to contact you and in which manner. Similarly, all pending notifications too are displayed in an easy to comprehend manner. The latter is achieved using red dots which appear next to the tab that has a pending notification.
Facebook believes the above changes are in line with their company goal to ensure the Messenger emerges as the default ‘hub for connecting with all the people and businesses you care about.’
Needless to say, the redesigned UI is also aimed to bring to focus the gaming section. Facebook is according a lot of priority to gaming on Messenger and has only recently introduced the service in its messages platform. On offer are several gaming titles which can be either of the single player type to turn based games.
Interestingly, the camera button has been made a tad less prominent. While previously it would sit high among the other buttons around it, the same now has been rejigged to sit flush within the confines of the tab.
The other buttons in the bottom tab continue to be largely the same, namely Home, Calls, and People with Games being the new addition in the bottom right corner. In fact, the buttons are labelled in small sized fonts, which make the upcoming setup a bit cumbersome. Maybe the previous layout but with the present camera button would have been better.
Meanwhile, the above changes will get reflected in both the iOS and Android versions of the app and should be available by the coming week itself; if it has not already.