There are 101 messaging applications out there, and Facebook isn’t content to sit back and let others steal the limelight. The social networking company has completely redesigned its Messenger app for Android to try and take on rivals such as Whatsapp and Snapchat.
Navigation is now much easier, with users now able to swipe between different panels. The overall design looks much cleaner too. In fact, it’s really not too far off the current Skype design: the rounded avatars – plus the white and blue theme – look awfully familiar.
The company is trying something a little different too. When you install the new version of the app, Facebook will ask for your phone number to try and connect you with non-friends. Like other messaging apps, it will rummage through your contact list and match you with anyone else using the service. It makes sense given that Whatsapp uses a similar system, and that Facebook will want as many people as possible using its own service. Opening the app up to non-friends on Facebook facilitates that.
Facebook isn’t rolling out the redesigned app just yet, though. The Verge says that the company is limiting testing right now, but Facebook intends to release the new app to everyone on Android and iOS “in the coming weeks”.