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Facebook Messenger update dresses up like Skype for Halloween

Kris Carlon
3

Blah blah blah, Facebook is improving customer experience and usability and all of it will benefit the advertisers. But what's really noticeable about the latest ''faster and more reliable'' update of the Facebook app is how it is starting to look more like Skype, WhatsApp and Viber than Facebook. The new version is only being tested by a limited number of users right now, but will roll out soon enough for everyone.

AndroidpIT Facebook Redesign Crop

The new design looks nice...but very familiar... / © Facebook

The major changes in the update are the addition of a Facebook Messenger icon that will alert you to which of your contacts are currently online, a feature I can't believe has taken this long to appear. Facebook has also added the ability to message people who are not your Facebook friends by using your phone number – very WhatsApp. Navigation is now accomplished by the old Android tab swipe and the top and bottom nav banners kind of remind me of, oh I don't know, Skype with a bit of Viber?

AndroidPIT Facebook Skype Comparison
Looks like Facebook is dressing up as Skype for Halloween. / © AndroidPIT/Facebook/Skype

The tired blue decor of the interface is gone, replaced by a crisp white background and rounded profile icons with a light blue banner at the bottom. The solid stack of profile pics is gone in the update, replaced with rounded icons and plenty of space around them in the chat list. It looks incredibly similar to Skype. Inside a chat conversation not much has changed beyond the color scheme, but your messages will now display with white text on a blue block like the current Send button. I have to say when I first saw it, it looked a lot like my Viber chat window.

AndroidPIT Facebook Banner Comparison
I wonder where they got their banner ideas from? / © AndroidPIT/Facebook/Skype/Viber

Sure, Skype has more rubbish at the top of the chat list and the conversations look different, while WhatsApp and Viber have rounded rectangle profile icons and green and purple color schemes respectively, but the new Facebook app looks a lot more like a Frankenstein's monster assemblage of Skype, WhatsApp and Viber parts than it does the old Facebook app. Having said that, I never liked the old app so the changes look good to me.

AndroidPIT Facebook Viber Comparison
Even Viber gets a nod in terms of borrowings. / © AndroidPIT/Facebook/Viber

What do you think of the redesign of Skype, I mean Facebook Messenger? Do you think they're just borrowing the designs from other popular messaging apps?

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  • User picture
    Mod
    Henrique Rocha Oct 31, 2013 Link

    They are trying to stick to some of the Android design guidelines which the others already did, that's why they look similar now. I'm happy that they finally did the change.

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  • User picture
    Admin
    Kris Carlon Oct 31, 2013 Link

    I prefer the new Holo look too, but it's kinda reeaaalllly like Skype now. It wouldn't have killed them to at least stick with Facebook blue rather than Skype blue, would it?

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  • User picture
    Mod
    Henrique Rocha Nov 1, 2013 Link

    Yes, I think they should have kept their usual color. :-)

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