David Marcus, head of Fb’s Messenger, right now introduced one of many firm’s 2018 plans for the chat app is to simplify it. What’s primarily speculated to be a messaging app has develop into, to make use of his phrase, “cluttered.”

It’s a great plan, contemplating Messenger has develop into weighed down with pointless add-ons. Right here’s what Fb wants to chop from Messenger.


When Marcus clarified Messenger’s standing, he outright mentioned the muddle started two years in the past:

During the last two years, we constructed a number of capabilities to search out the options that proceed to set us aside. A variety of them have discovered their product market match; some haven’t.

By sheer coincidence, I’m certain, two years in the past is roughly the time Fb started ripping options from Snapchat — the obvious one being Messenger Day, which has since been merged with Fb’s predominant Tales function.

If it actually desires to declutter Messenger, then Fb’s first job must be determining how the app matches into its bigger scheme. If Instagram is the bite-sized visible life story app, and Fb itself is the microblogging app, then Messenger is primarily for preserving in communication with your folks.

Presenting them with a visible gallery of your day isn’t suited to this function. Even the opposite options on this record are type of in service to that purpose (for those who squint in some circumstances), however Tales positively isn’t. Hopefully by now Fb has realized that simply because Snapchat does a factor doesn’t imply that factor needs to be stuffed into all Fb-branded apps.


One of many issues Fb has added steadily to Messenger during the last couple of years is extensions — so a lot of them. It’s been drip-fed to Messenger so slowly that it isn’t till you are taking a step again that you simply notice simply how a lot has now been added.

While you open Messenger, start a message, and hit the Plus button, you’re taken to a menu with so many extensions that it’s dizzying. You possibly can share your location stay on a map, Spotify songs, or Meals Community recipes. It’s all an excessive amount of, greater than Messenger wants.

Not one of the extensions on their very own are unhealthy issues, however I query how usually they’re really used. Once I see a Meals Community recipe I like, for instance, I normally simply ship a good friend a URL reasonably than open the extension and discover it. It’s a humiliation of riches that feels troublesome to spend.


I don’t thoughts Messenger video games a lot — if we’re really trimming the fats I believe they need to most likely go too, however personally I don’t discover them as tedious as among the different options. Now livestreaming alternatively…

Fb introduced Messenger recreation streaming by way of Fb Stay a month in the past. As with the Tales function above, I don’t see how this remotely ties into Marcus’s new purpose to “make Messenger one of the simplest ways to spend time collectively if you’re aside.” In case you should hold video games in Messenger, then why attempt to make them broadcast affairs?

To not point out the video games themselves aren’t precisely watchable affairs. I’m all for having a Pac-Man and Indignant Birds in Messenger, for the novelty if nothing else, however it’s not essential to have them be obtainable for a stay stream.

And to finish on a optimistic word, there’s one factor I believe Fb Messenger ought to hold:


This time final 12 months, I’d have mentioned it was a foolish factor, so as to add a peer-to-peer fee choice to Messenger of all issues. However now that I’ve had extra time to mirror, I don’t suppose it’s such a foul concept.

Ultimately rely, Messenger had over 1 billion customers. That’s lots of people who use it. And I believe enabling a means for mates to share a bit money is an effective use of the app — nowhere close to as sophisticated/annoying because the above options and one thing I believe each single a kind of billion individuals may use.

Fb Messenger is a massively widespread app, and it’s develop into a cornerstone of on-line social life, each bit as a lot as Fb, or Twitter, or Snapchat. It’s good for Fb to acknowledge the muddle is an issue. Enhancing Messenger will most likely require fairly a little bit of trimming, much more than I’ve specified right here, however it’d assist make the app extra user-friendly.


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