Facebook Messenger gets sweeping changes

Facebook Messenger is about to get a big makeover. The company announced a redesigned home screen for the popular chat app on Thursday, replacing the simple list of recent conversations with a new layout meant to spark more conversations.

The new home screen starts off looking pretty familiar with a list of recent conversations, but under that you’ll find a row of your favorite contacts. There’s also a section for Birthdays so you can quickly send someone a personal note. At the bottom of the page you’ll see a list of people who are currently using Messenger, which could push you to chat with someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

It’s a pretty smart update and makes use of a landing page that’s otherwise been pretty underutilized. Most of these new features also seem to come directly from the Messenger experience on Facebook’s website, which already shows you a mix of your favorites and people currently online. Birthdays is also an interesting addition, suggesting we might see even more Facebook features migrate over to Messenger in the feature

Facebook didn’t say when the new update will hit, but we’re guessing it won’t take long to rollout. In the meantime, you can grab the latest version of Messenger for iOS or Android to play a new soccer game and try out the company’s redesigned emoji.

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