Facebook Messenger has been around since 2008. It went by a different name back then-Facebook Chat. It got a revamp two years later and from then on, underwent various changes in its user interface, features, and integration.
Facebook Messenger: Changes are good
The company has recently implemented yet another massive change starting off with a new logo that has a color gradient tone.
Stan Chudnovsky, VP of Messenger, has mentioned, "Our new logo reflects a shift to the future of messaging, a more dynamic, fun, and integrated way to stay connected to the people you're close to."
Additional changes include selfie stickers, a vanish mode, chat theme, and new personalization options. For these, the VP says, "Along with our new logo and default chat color, we're also rolling out new chat themes, like love and tie-dye, and custom reactions. Together with new delight features like selfie stickers and vanish mode that are coming soon, making your chats fun and personalized has never been easier."
The company announced last month that it will be integrating its Instagram private messages with Facebook Messenger. This series of changes is part of that integration. The end goal is to have a unified messaging platform across all the other platforms found in the Facebook ecosystem of apps. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg also went further by saying that the company will focus more on private communication given Facebook's mostly public-space-oriented structure.
It's not clear yet how Facebook Messenger will integrate with WhatsApp and Instagram since these have their own individual encryption mechanisms. Chances are, Facebook will include end-to-end encryption for all of its messaging apps for this integration to be fully achieved.
Facebook Messenger's New Features
This is Facebook Messenger's video conferencing tool. The company claims that it is its response to the popular Zoom platform. With Messenger Rooms, users can create a group for video conferencing for up to 50 users. This tool doesn't have a 40-minute limit like Zoom's but it doesn't feature end-to-end encryption. Once a Room is taking place, friends will be able to see it on top of their news feeds showing the participants' name. A Room can also be locked so that no new participant can enter, chose whom to invite, or remove another participant.
Collaborative Video Viewing
Simply put, this Messenger tool allows users to invite their friends to watch a video together. There's an option to chat real-time about the video they're currently watching. Everyone too has control of the video when it comes to playback.
Customizable Emoji Response Bar
Users can now customize their react buttons. Simply long press on any open Messenger message and click the "+" sign that will appear at the right corner of the react buttons. You'll then have the option to add your own customized emoji reactions.
Other features include new personalized stickers and color gradients in threads and a vanish mode. The latter is similar to Snapchat's and Instagram's disappearing messages.