Facebook is putting focus back on simplicity with Messenger 4

Facebook and its various services like Instagram and Messenger are widely known to be overly crowded with unnecessary features and menus, but that may be changing soon with the rollout of Facebook Messenger 4. The company said that it ran a study on Messenger and found that 71% of participants considered simplicity a top priority.

What a wild concept that people just want to use Messenger to message their friends and family without rummaging through a clunky UI.

Rolling out globally over the next few weeks, Messenger 4 trims down from nine tabs to a much more reasonable three — Chats, People, and Discover. There's still a camera at the top of the app for sharing photos and videos to your messaging groups or your Facebook Story, and you'll still be able to play Instant Games through the Discover tab.

On top of simplification, there are also a few neat new features, including color gradients in conversations that make each message a different color gradually leading from, say, blue to red. Messenger 4 is also introducing Dark Mode, which should be good news to AMOLED users.

After years of clumsy and overcluttered designs, it's great to see Facebook making an effort to change for the better. Messenger 4 is being rolled out in phases, but again, you can expect to see the update some time in the coming weeks.

Hayato Huseman

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.

  • I switched to messenger lite for the swift black theme, and the only thing i miss is customisable notification sounds. And chat heads a bit, for messenger as an overlay.
  • I use Lite as well. Does everything that I want it to....mainly, send messages.
  • How do you get the black theme on Messenger Lite? I can't seem to find the setting.
  • How are we going to know when this rolls out since Facebook doesn't update the change log in the Play Store
  • Wish I could find the apk for this update online. Anxious to use it already.
  • Just got an update for messenger today, wasn't for messenger 4. I don't know if anybody has this yet
  • Multiple updates and no Messenger 4
  • Ok, without an update from the Play store my phone has switched over to messenger 4
  • Mine switched to messenger 4 but for some reason, it switched back
  • I got it briefly (a bit more than 12h). And then it went back.