By: Nick Gambino

I’ll be honest, the only thing I use Facebook Messenger for is the occasional message and maybe a quick game of Pac-Man. (Yes, you can play simple games in Messenger. Check the bottom right of your screen.)

The main reason I don’t use the messaging app is because it seems too cluttered. I’d prefer to use iMessage or WhatsApp, both of which offer a cleaner flow and user-friendly UI. The new Messenger update is looking to fix some of my grievances. I like to think they’re doing it all for me.

The update includes the addition of tabs on the top of the screen that allow you to navigate more easily and pick up on any active conversations. The first tab at the top of my screen now reads “Messages” which I guess is where my messages are (regular ol’ Sherlock Holmes over here).

The second tab reads “Active” which lets you know who’s online as shown by the little green dot next to their name. Being a private person, I’m not too keen on this one. Though that’s just my own issue. I’m sure it’s fine. I just wish there was an option for us hermits to stay invisible.

The third reads “Groups” which has been pulled up from the bottom tabs. This one shows you all of the Messenger Groups you’ve been added to.

Each of these tabs will show a red dot when there’s activity that requires your attention such as a message. This will help you stay on top of your urgent and not-so urgent Messenger activities.

The aforementioned Games feature now gets its own tab at the bottom of the screen in the spot where Groups used to hold court. Games, also known as Instant Games, is a fairly new feature that allows you to play over 50 simple games like Pac-Man and Bat Climb without the need to download a whole new app.

One other design change worth mentioning in the Messenger update is the downsizing of the annoyingly large camera button. The button was honestly too big and has now been fitted more appropriately amongst the other features surrounding it.

We’ll see if these new changes are enticing enough to make me want to use the app more. I’m not sure that it will but I guess time will tell if it was meant to be or not.

Tell us your thoughts on the new design of Facebook Messenger in the comments below!


Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.