Facebook has quietly rolled out a dark mode for its Messenger app, though activating the feature will take a few more steps than simply accessing the settings menu.
The Facebook Messenger dark mode has been teased since last year’s F8 developers conference. It has since been tested in a few countries, with only a limited number of users able to enjoy the feature — until now.
To activate the Facebook Messenger dark mode, users will first have to send the crescent moon emoji to anyone, including any of their contacts, a chatbot, or even themselves. The correct emoji is the one of the moon without a face, and users will know that they sent the right one because the screen will fill up with falling crescent moon emojis.
After the falling crescent moon emojis, a pop-up will appear at the top of the screen to inform users that dark mode is now available through the app’s settings menu, where the feature can be activated with a simple toggle. Users who do not see the falling crescent moon emojis may have to double-tap their message, restart Messenger, or update the app to its latest version.
The app sends a warning that the Facebook Messenger dark mode is still a work in progress, but it appears that most sections of the app already support the feature. Google confirmed at the 2018 Android Dev Summit that activating dark mode extends battery life for Android smartphones, as the reduced brightness of the screens leads to slower battery drain. The same likely holds true for Apple’s iPhones.
The arrival of dark mode, albeit as a secret feature, comes with the rollout of a simpler, redesigned version of the app named Messenger 4. The new Messenger, revealed in October last year, simplifies the user interface while introducing new customization options.
Another recently launched feature for Messenger is the ability to unsend messages up to 10 minutes after sending them, in both individual and group chats. Facebook promised to release the feature after a report revealed that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was able to delete some of his own messages. The social network company then promised that all users would be able to unsend their messages, whether due to typos, wrong recipients, or for any other reason.
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