Facebook announced today that it’s starting to roll out a “faster, smaller, and simpler” version of Messenger on iOS. Facebook says the new version of the app will load twice as fast and be one-fourth the size. The rollout is supposed to happen “over the next few weeks.”
In a Facebook post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that once you have the new version, Messenger should “feel much faster and more responsive compared to other apps you use.” If the speed changes pan out as Facebook promises, they could be nice — if you’re opening up the app multiple times a day to chat with friends, every second you don’t have to spend waiting to chat should feel like an improvement. To pull off the redesign, Facebook said in an engineering blog that it completely rewrote the codebase of the app.
Facebook says that with the new simpler design, “a few features will be temporarily unavailable,” but the company wasn’t specific about which features were stripped. However, last Friday, TechCrunch reported that this redesign was coming, and one of the changes would be the removal of the Discover tab, which showed you different chatbots and businesses you could message. The tab was also where you could find Instant Games, and they will apparently be removed from the app with this new redesign.
Facebook said that it’s working to bring back the removed features “soon,” but didn’t provide a timeline. The company hasn’t replied to a request for comment about which features were removed or when they might return.
Facebook last announced a Messenger redesign in May 2018. The company also pledged that redesign would make the app simpler.