Facebook is completely redesigning the Messenger app for its 1.3 billion users

Key Points
  • Facebook is rolling out the dramatic redesign of its chat app, Messenger.
  • The goal of the redesign is to simplify the app, which has gone from nine different tabs to three.
  • Although Messenger Vice President Stan Chudnovsky says he doesn't expect any changes to the app's monetization "right away," he thinks that the new design could help people realize that it can be used for chatting with businesses as well as their friends.
Stan Chudnovsky of Facebook
Horacio Villalobos | Corbis | Getty Images

Facebook is rolling out a revamped version of its chat app Messenger that simplifies its user interface.

Messenger, which now has 1.3 billion users per month, previously had nine different tabs, while the new version has only three.

"This is a new foundation that will give us the ability to start building way faster, way better and way more powerful features," Messenger Vice President Stan Chudnovsky said at a press event Tuesday.

The three new tabs are Chats, which includes conversations; People, which shows Stories and active contacts; and Discover, which includes both games and chats with businesses.

While Chudnovsky said that he didn't expect "any changes to monetization right away," he said that reducing Messenger's tabs from nine to three will hopefully make it more obvious to people that it is a place where they can talk to businesses as well as their friends.

There are currently 10 billion messages sent between people and businesses each month.

Right now, Facebook makes money from Messenger in several different ways: It sells ads that appear directly in users' inboxes and between Stories from their friends, and it sells click-to-message ads for businesses which show up on the Facebook timeline.

Chudnovsky says that the refreshed design is meant to integrate all its new features in a less complicated way, while also paving the way for new features, like the upcoming "dark mode."

As Facebook has piled new features into Messenger over the years, critics have said that it caused a clunky user experience. It also adopted a lot of popular features from rival Snapchat, like Stories, which lets you post temporary photos or videos to a feed for your friends to view. 

Notably, Messenger's Stories, a feature that both boosts time spent in the app and offers monetization potential, appear in two different tabs within the app.

Facebook unveils Portal smart speakers with video calling to battle Amazon and Google
Facebook takes on Amazon and Google with Portal smart speakers

Facebook and Messenger Stories had 300 million daily active users as of September.

Facebook first previewed the redesign at its developers conference in May and it will start rolling out to users Tuesday.

Facebook is set to report its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 30.

Here's a video demo of the new version of Facebook Messenger: