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25 October 2018, 12:58 | Jodi Jackson
It will also make it easier for users to access games and e-commerce chatbots, which are central to Facebook's plan to make Messenger a hub for online shopping and customer service.
Facebook was able to simplify some of those tabs by adding more complex interactions.
The social network has housed all the features under three tabs at the bottom of the app: Chats, People and Discover.
While the redesign seems nice enough, the chat app will continue to look and function like any old chat app, which makes the update only so exciting.
"Once you tap into Messenger 4's People tab, you can find friends, catch up on people's Stories, and see everyone who is active right now. Then you have the Discovertab, where you can connect with businesses to get the latest deals, play Instant Games, book your next vacation, follow the news and more". It also looks extremely busy, though the new Messenger 4 update looks to fix that.
The first two tabs are people-focused, with Chats containing past conversations and sponsored posts below a row of Stories, while the People tab contains a list of contacts below a row of larger Stories cards.
The reason for the redesign is what many users have known for years: Messenger, in its current form, is a bloated confusing mess.
"This is a new foundational element that will give us the ability to start building way faster, way better and way more powerful features for 1.3 billion people who are out there", Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook's head of Messenger, said during a media briefing Tuesday.
Messenger 4 also lets you add color gradients to chat bubbles in conversations. That's because the Messenger team is very aware that its users aren't necessarily the biggest fans of big changes (and some people still haven't forgiven Facebook for forcing the app on them to begin with).
According to research conducted by Kelton Global in August of this year, seven out of ten people said simplicity was a top priority for them in a messaging app.
But despite the slightly simpler design, Facebook isn't removing any features from the app. Stories, which Facebook says has 300 million monthly users, are still featured prominently, even though the camera feature has been moved to the top of the app.
The new Messenger 4 is rolling out globally over the coming weeks as Facebook says it wants to give users time to get accustomed to the changes.
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