Facebook Messenger gets a new look and attempts to replace SMS

New features will make having the standalone app worthwhile

Facebook Messenger entered the world amidst controversy. People didn't like the fact that they needed a separate app for private messaging. As with most issues, it died down soon after.  The app is now the number 1 application in the Android chart and has some 900 million users. 

Messenger has received a redesign and there's some new features worth noting. The changes include a 'Home' tab, which shows who is online, whose birthday is coming up and those who the user talks to the most.  




Facebook says it want to make it “simpler and easier” for users to start conversations. The company has big plans for the Messenger app with the introduction of bots and utilising it as a tool to chat with businesses. 

Earlier this week they announced that it's possible for users to access their SMS messages in Messenger. A post on their Facebook page read: 

"Today we are enabling people to use SMS in Messenger for Android to communicate with their family, friends and phone contacts. What this means is you will now have the choice to be able to send and receive your SMS/texts in Messenger and will not have go to different screens on your phone to communicate. 

We know that people receive messages via both SMS and Messenger - for example your best friend sends you GIFs on Messenger whilst your mom only uses SMS - we want to make it easier to stay in touch with all the people you care about. We hope that this new choice will bring the convenience of being able to access all your messages in one place, making your messaging a lot simpler and helping you stay on top of your conversations!"

Here's how it works:

1. Open Messenger and tap on Settings (the person icon)

2. Select “SMS” from the list

3. Turn on “Default SMS app"

This means users can have all of their conversations within the one application and no longer have to jump between the two apps.