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Facebook's redesigned Messenger app is now available to all iPhone users

Facebook Messenger on iPhone
Facebook Messenger on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Facebook's redesigned Messenger app is here.
  • The company has reduced the app's code by a massive 84%.
  • The interface has been decluttered, too.

As suspected over the weekend, Facebook has now made its refreshed and revamped Messenger app available to iPhone users around the world. A new update is available in the App Store, with more changes set to be pushed out to users in the coming weeks.

The updated app was announced in a Facebook press release, and it seems rather proud of its work. The social network says that it's been able to reduce the app's core code by a huge 84% – "going from more than 1.7 million lines of code to 360,000" – which itself makes the whole app snappier. But it's the removal of features and the paring down of the interface that really makes the new Messenger feel like a much nicer app to use.

Even Facebook admits that the previous Messenger app had grown unwieldy as more and more features were added.

When Messenger first became its own app in 2011, our goal was to build a messaging experience rich with features. We added video calling, GIFs, location sharing and more. And while people enjoyed these features, the app became harder to navigate and the architecture became increasingly complex.

It's made some big changes in an attempt to combat that, making the app faster, smaller, and simpler to use.

New Facebook Messenger

New Facebook Messenger (Image credit: TechCrunch)
  • Faster: A faster start time may not matter as much if you only open an app once or twice a day to play a game or watch a movie, but it makes a huge difference when you open an app many times a day to respond to messages from the people who matter most.
  • Smaller: A smaller app means Messenger starts, downloads and updates faster for everyone, including people who use the app on older devices or in areas with lower connectivity where every kilobyte counts.
  • Simpler: We've streamlined the app while keeping it rich with features and making it easier for our engineers to build better experiences. For example, we've reduced the contact list from 40 versions to one that works consistently across the app. This not only helps with the cognitive load for people, but it also means engineers don't need to build new experiences from the ground up.

The newly updates app can be downloaded from the App Store (opens in new tab), while Facebook says that more changes will be coming to the app in the future. Hopefully that doesn't include adding everything back that it just took out.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.