Latest Facebook Messenger Update Is Simpler and Smaller

Faster, too, says Mark Zuckerberg

Why This Matters

The idea behind the latest update is to put people first, rather than advertising. Doing away with the Discover tab makes Messenger feel personal again, which is part of Zuckerberg and Co's latest push to keep people on the platform in the wake of many privacy gaffes in the last few years.

Facebook Messenger on iOS

Facebook introduced a faster, smaller, more streamlined Messenger on Monday, with a focus on people first, removing the Discover tab altogether. The company boasts an app that will load twice as fast and be one-fourth it's earlier file size. According to Zuckerberg himself, the update starts rolling out immediately.

By The Numbers

  • 1 billion people use Messenger
  • Code has been reduced by 84%
  • 1.7 million lines of code are now 360,000

Where things stand right now: What you'll initially notice is the simplification of the tabs on the bottom of the screen. Already reduced to three tabs in an October 2018 update, this new update removes the Discover tab altogether, putting the focus on People and Chats. The former shows your contacts' stories while the latter is the same basic chat list you've used before.

The big picture: While it may seem a small change, the streamlining of the Messenger app could also be seen as another step towards putting people first as Facebook tries to undo the damage from the Cambridge Analytica debacle and Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

As TechCrunch points out, it may also be a signal that Facebook is done trying to put every new tech, including AI, into a single product, and just focus on what a messaging app does best (while still trying to push Stories, for some reason).

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