Facebook’s Messages service has received a notable facelift.
The social media powerhouse recently introduced an updated version of its messaging system on the desktop. While Facebook is well known for unveiling endless modifications, the company had done relatively little to the appearance of its Messages section, save for a few additions of features over the years.
For people who regularly use the Messenger app, the web version of Messages will look nearly identical to the app. According to David Marcus, the Vice President of Messaging Products at Facebook, most of Messenger’s billion-plus users utilize the mobile version.
For Facebook users who prefer to avoid the app and opt for using Messages on a personal computer, the differences are quite distinct. On the left-hand side bar on the front page, “Messages” now reads “Messenger.” After clicking on “Messenger,” it’s clear that what once was a casual interface with minimal accessories has now brought several features, including emojis, nickname capabilities, and customizable color schemes for each contact, to the forefront.
The most significant change is to the inbox itself, which has been made much larger and has shifted from its traditional format to a text-bubble style that has been utilized on the app for quite some time.
Marcus has received a large volume of responses to the the new interface of Messages. Some have complained about the sudden overhaul; some are not happy with the colored bubbles for text; and some have expressed frustration that there’s no option to stick with the “classic” version of Messages.
Marcus provided the following statement:
“There have been a few comments here about our recent migration from the legacy “Messages” interface on facebook.com to Messenger.com. So I thought I should share what our thinking behind this move was.
1st and foremost: all of the 1 billion+ people using Messenger use it primarily on mobile, and occasionally on desktop. One of their main request has always been feature-parity on desktop. That means that you can now video chat from desktop, send stickers, GIFs, and way more. We basically want to satisfy the ask of harmonizing the user experience and the capabilities of Messenger across all platforms.
2nd: I do understand that some of you are not using either the Messenger app, or Messenger.com. Maybe you don’t have a smartphone, maybe you just want to use Facebook products exclusively on your computer, and we do respect that. I also empathize with how you must feel, discovering the messaging interface you got used to over the years suddenly replaced with something that looks and feels more mobile.
So… What are we going to do about this?
— I want to split the feedback into 2 categories: feedback about the look and feel, and feedback about a specific functionality you lost, or that got worse because of this change. I’ll focus mainly on the 2nd one as the 1st one is very subjective, and we also know that it takes time to adjust to new interfaces.
— On that point about features that you feel need work, I noted several ones:
— The ability to write longer messages without your paragraphs being truncated in the composer;
— Improvements on how search works;
— Filtering messages by “unread”;
— Improvements on photo sharing and consumption. My commitment to all of you is that we will look into all of the above, and continue listening and acting on any constructive feedback you send our way.”
It remains unclear if Facebook will allow users the ability to switch to the classic version of Messages. Will this updated version prove to be a wise move from the platform that is both praised and rebuked for its perpetual updates? Only time will tell as users continue to offer their feedback.
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