Facebook redesigning its Messenger app, removing chatbot focus

Facebook is redesigning its Messenger app and removing the focus on chatbots, according to a new report from TechCrunch. Changes to its iOS app are being trialed amongst users.

The idea is to simplify the user experience on iOS and Android and remove some of the common distractions from the messaging service.

Facebook will reportedly focus more on friends and stories and remove some of its other commonly-promoted features like chatbots.

A couple of years ago, the social networking giant wanted to push users towards businesses and brands by offering chatbot support, and though the idea was to encourage shopping and customer service on the platform, Facebook now appears to be shifting that strategy.

In the latest build of the messaging platform, Facebook has removed the controversial Discover tab from the app, which was where users could find businesses, games, adverts, and chatbots, something that naturally wasn’t being used.

The company has been slowly removing games from Messenger since last summer, pushing people to Facebook Gaming.

“Chatbots, businesses, and games are being hidden, but not completely banished from Messenger. They’ll still be accessible if users purposefully seek them through the Messenger search bar, Pages and ads on Facebook, buttons to start conversations on businesses’ websites, and m.me URL that create QR codes which open to business accounts in Messenger. The spokesperson diplomatically claimed that businesses are still an important part of Messenger,” TechCrunch said in its report, suggesting these changes were cosmetic.

The new user interface has a two-tabbed design on the bottom, including one tab for People where you can view stories, active friends, and threads, and a Chats tab where you can chat with your friends and pick up conversations.

With Stories continually popular on Instagram, it appears Facebook wants to encourage users to try its Messenger Day Stories feature.

Facebook told TechCrunch that the new features were already rolling out and that those who still had the old Messenger experience would soon be transferred to the new version.

What are your thoughts about these changes? Let us know on social media and check back soon for more news and rumors on Facebook and other social networking sites, every week.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.