Facebook today announced the launch of a new two-paned view for its Messages page that consolidates all of your conversations onto one screen. Facebook's new Messages view takes a page out of Apple's book, placing friends and a search bar on the left and conversations on the right, like in Messages for Mac and iPad. The new view overall provides less visual friction to using Messages, which have recently been unified to include all your chats, @facebook.com emails, and regular old Facebook messages in one place. Previously, chats were organized into a one-column view that required you to open another page to engage with any of your current conversations.
Perhaps more importantly than the visual updates to its Messages client, Facebook also added keyboard shortcuts to let you compose, reply, and navigate through your Messages much more easily. While these shortcuts likely won't convince users to start sending mail using their free @facebook.com addresses, it'll definitely make browsing messages snappier. One final new feature is support for multiple photos inside any chat window. The Messages update will rollout to a small subset of users today, and will hit Facebook users worldwide over the coming weeks. Once you've received the update, you can start memorizing keyboard shortcuts found on a new Help page activated using Ctrl + Q (Mac) and Alt + Q (PC).