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  1. Facebook launches new Messenger app for Windows and macOS During the F8 developer conference last year, Facebook promised to bring a new Messenger app to desktop devices, both on macOS and Windows 10. The Windows 10 version of the app has been in public beta testing for some time, and the macOS variant was spotted in some regions last month, but today, the new Messenger is officially available on both platforms. The goal of the new app is to bring over most of the features of the mobile Messenger apps, and wrap them in a package that looks and feels more native to each platform. The previous Windows 10 app was based on an old version of the iOS app, and the design was somewhat out of place on Windows. [Video here ... ] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=237772287272154 The new app does pretty much what you'd expect it to do, including group video calls and, of course, message syncing across devices. It also supports dark mode, which only made its way to the mobile apps somewhat recently. If you're interested, you can download the new Messenger app from the Microsoft Store or the Mac App Store, depending on your platform of choice. Source: Facebook launches new Messenger app for Windows and macOS (Neowin)
  2. Facebook’s redesign for its Messenger app proves two things: 1) Facebook’s leaning hard into its Stories format after the feature’s success on Instagram; and 2) Yes, those chatbots really were the worst. Facebook’s ditching the Discover tab, a hub for various business tools and games, among other updates to help streamline the private messaging app’s design. The company first announced plans for the change in August, and now TechCrunch reports that Facebook has commenced the switchover this week, so you might have already noticed the update. It’s a complete 180 from Facebook’s previous push to make the app a one-stop-shop for “connecting with all the people and businesses you care about,” with added bloat like games, shopping, and confusing chatbots to serve as automated middlemen between users and businesses. Now Facebook’s boiled it down to just two tabs, Chats and People, with the latter defaulting to a page for Stories, the 24-hour photo and video highlight reel Facebook more or less ripped off Snapchat (albeit to greater success). A sub-tab adjacent to Stories shows which friends are currently online. Given the success Facebook’s had so far with Instagram’s Stories feature, which averages 500 million daily users as of January, it’s no wonder they’re bumping up this feature’s real estate. And, of course, since Stories also display ads, more eyes on users’ Stories means more revenue for Facebook. Though demoted, any content previously on the Discover tab isn’t gone for good. Now you’ll just have to access it via the Messenger’s search bar. Though, with users now having to purposefully seek them out, businesses may be turned off of any ideas about expanding on the platform. Facebook did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment. That said, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch that Facebook remains committed to promoting businesses on its platforms and that they still play an important part of Messenger. Source
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