Facebook Messenger to be Streamlined and Massively Simplified This Year
The mobile community has a love/hate relationship with Facebook Messenger. Some enjoy the platform for the features it offers, while others feel compelled to use it because their social circles use it. Then there are folks who dislike it because of how bloated it’s gotten, and David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, can sympathize. In a blog post on Tuesday, he admitted that Messenger had become too cluttered and that the company plans to tone it down this year.
“Over the last two years, we built a lot of capabilities to find the features that continue to set us apart.” A lot of them have found their product market fit; some haven’t,” Mr. Marcus wrote. “While we raced to build these new features, the app became too cluttered.”
Facebook Messenger has an interesting history. It used to be a part of the regular Facebook application, but in 2014 was split off into a separate app. The move was controversial, to say the least, but laid the groundwork for Facebook’s Messenger platform — a self-contained ecosystem of third-party apps, chatbots, and services.
The move drove Messenger to 1.3 billion monthly active users, but also led to feature creep. In recent months, Facebook’s added a gaming platform, a Snapchat-like stories feature, advertisements, and payments to the platform. And in developing markets, it’s launched a lightweight version, Facebook Lite, designed to minimize data usage.
“Expect to see us invest in massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger this year,” Marcus wrote.
As of right now, Facebook has yet to divulge which parts of Messenger it considers “clutter”, and Marcus didn’t say how the Messenger team planned to streamline and simplify the app. In any case, it’s good to hear the social network acknowledge the problem, and here’s hoping the decisions they make lead to a better, more enjoyable Facebook Messenger user experience.