Skip to main content

Facebook Messenger for Android gets a few new updates and a redesigned UI

how to start secret conversation facebook messenger feat
If you’re one of the billion or so people who use Facebook Messenger, you might notice a change in the coming days — if you’re an Android user, that is. As first reported by Android Police, it would appear that the popular messaging app is undergoing a bit of a redesign, as well as an integration of the social network’s personal assistant named “M.”

So what’s changing? In general, it looks as though Facebook is streamlining the Messenger app, somewhat uncluttering the text field at the bottom of your smartphone. Instead of having various elements like inserting an image, a voice recording, or a GIF spread out over two rows, Facebook has opted to move everything into just one row. That means that you can see a bit more of your messages, and you’ll also have to do a bit more navigating if you’re someone who tends to add a lot of non-text messages to your messages.

The actual text field has also shrunk quite a bit, so you’ll need to be a bit more precise about what you’re tapping and where.

In fact, that’s the overall change — more careful taps, and more taps as a whole. Rather than displaying all of Facebook Messenger’s elements up front and center, the new Messenger app consolidates all those features into a “plus” folder, which means you have to first open the folder, then select an option like games, your camera, or something else.

As for the M integration, it’s not much to write home about. While the AI-based assistant was announced with quite a bit of fanfare back in 2015, it’s not doing a whole lot yet. Really, it seems that the only thing M is currently capable of doing is to “pop up in chats when it sees greetings or wishes such as “happy birthday,” “Happy New Year,” and “good morning” sent to you.” Still in beta, so perhaps more will happen as the update is rolled out to a greater number of people.

Finally, Facebook has allowed you to opt out of being notified every time your app is updated.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Bing’s AI chatbot is now on your Android phone’s keyboard — here’s how to get it
Screenshots of Bing Chat running through the SwiftKey keyboard on Android.

Chatbots have become extraordinarily popular for those looking for help with their writing — or simply mess around with them and have fun. Now, Android users have access to one such chatbot straight from their keyboard. Bing Chat is Microsoft's chatbot that rivals the likes of ChatGPT and Google Bard, and it has been added as a feature to the SwiftKey keyboard, a predictive keyboard that helps with texting.

While Bing Chat can help users compose the body of a message, it can also analyze prewritten text for your tone to suggest changes if the user wants to avoid coming across a certain way. Bing Chat has already been providing those services via the Bing app and through web browsers; however, the new integration with the SwiftKey keyboard allows users to easily access the chatbot for help whenever their keyboard is enabled.
How to use Bing Chat with the SwiftKey keyboard

Read more
A new Android 14 update is here — but you still shouldn’t download it
The Android 14 logo.

Google has released the second developer preview of Android 14, as the next major version of the operating system takes another step toward a full release. Like the first Android 14 developer preview, the clue as to who it’s for is in the name.

This early version is designed for developers to test new features and designs in their apps, and to explore how new tools in the software could help improve them. It’s not designed for everyday use by consumers -- that version will come later.

Read more
Android Auto just got a much-requested new feature
Android Auto in a car.

Android Auto is an excellent platform that helps bridge the gap between a driver's phone and their car's control center, and now it's getting even better.

The latest update for the Android Auto beta adds an exciting amount of customization to the interface's widgets. Now, instead of the usual fixed layout that users have grown accustomed to, the widgets are interchangeable and able to be customized to best accommodate a driver's needs.

Read more