Hey, remember how, back in May, at Facebook's annual F8 conference, The Social Network showed off a new look for Messenger, which aimed to provide a more 'pared back' experience after the app had become too cluttered with new additions.
If you're thinking 'oh yeah, what happened with that?' It turns out, nothing happened - the new version of Messenger never arrived, but this week, some Android users have reported seeing the new, sleek update when they opened the app.
As reported by Android Police (which also shared the above screenshot):
"According to our tipster, the new design appeared on their Messenger app without an update. It was a server-side change and suddenly, everything was different. The bottom bar has three tabs only, with the camera and new chat button moving to the top right. Most of the superfluous features - games, businesses, and more - have moved to the third Explore tab."
It definitely looks a lot different, and it's in line with Facebook's aim to simplify the app. How it'll be received by users, upon wider rollout, will certainly be interesting, considering the variance in presentation and function.
And that's where the real question lies - while Facebook has worked to make Messenger a more functional business tool, in an effort to capitalize on the app's 1.3 billion users, thus far, those efforts, including what Facebook originally saw as a transformative shift in Messenger bots, have failed to take off. Will making such tools harder to find within the app help them improve in this regard? Will a stripped back Messenger layout enable maximum revenue potential for the app.
With the Facebook News Feed, the company has sought to tap into every surface, every opportunity it can to share more ad content without overwhelming users, but in this new Messenger layout, there's really not much extra room to work with. No doubt Zuck and Co. will be hoping that they can make their ads more effective, to make up for the lack of exposure options. But still, seems like there's a lot to take in - we might be waiting a while for a full rollout as Facebook will want to test this thoroughly before sending it out.
At present, Android Police says you can't get the update manually:
"This appears to be a server-side rollout and you can't force it to show up for you by joining a beta or downloading an APK. All you can do is wait."
So, maybe the new layout is coming soon. Maybe not. We'll keep you updated as we get more info.