Facebook Repurposes FacePile To Increase Messenger’s Speed
“Instant” is a relative term. While some people might have accepted a delay of few seconds in chat some years ago, people now can’t stand a delay of few milliseconds. Instant chat needs to be instant. It should capture even the slightest nods and “mmhmm’s” we normally do in our face-to-face conversation providing real-conversation-like experience.
This is what Facebook believes and it has been working to optimize its Messenger app. Now Facebook Messenger app has got a big speed improvement across all its versions, and a new animation that provides feedback about whether your message is sending, sent, delivered, or read.
And there is another enhancement. Unlike WhatsApp’s gray ticks or some other dull icons, it displays photos of your friends in the convo who have received or read the message.
The feedback design followed now in Messenger app was first developed by Facebook for its FacePile plugin five years ago. The design was originally used to show which of your friends Liked a website. It also showed the photos of the friends just like these would be shown in Messenger app.
Product Manager Lexy Franklin told TechCrunch that their main aim is to make Messenger the fastest and most reliable messaging app. To optimize their app, they have done a lot of work like improving performance at backend and reducing end-to-end latency. They want to eliminate the delay of even milliseconds and provide real “instant” messaging experience across all devices.
Facebook’s competitors like Snapchat or Kik might want to make money out of their messaging apps, but Facebook’s core purpose (at least for now) for Messenger app is to make people come back to their main app more. Facebook makes a huge amount of money through its ads being shown in the News Feed. So they want people to visit News Feed more.
Facebook uses all of its other services to make people come around News Feed. In this mission, Facebook also launched “Stickered For Messenger” that lets users put stickers on the photos and send them to their friends in Messenger app. It is not monetized yet but Facebook hopes that this would make people visit their News Feed more.
Facebook is also working on a peer-to-peer payments feature. It will have a “$” button on Messenger’s compose screen that will let you send money to friend.
The new Messenger designing is now rolling out on iOS and Android in US and Europe, and will go worldwide soon.