Facebook is redesigning Messenger app to prioritize Stories in an attempt to replicate the success of Instagram's killer feature
Facebook Messenger is getting a design overhaul that is soon rolling out to users, TechCrunch reports. The redesign has two significant changes: the removal of the Discover tab, which houses chatbots from games and brands; and an increased emphasis on Facebook Stories. By prioritizing Stories in the Messenger app, Facebook is likely trying to replicate the success it found after bringing the feature to Instagram. The Stories format itself was borrowed from Snapchat. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Facebook is trying to replicate the success it found adding Stories to Instagram by bringing the feature to the forefront of another one of its apps: Messenger. A redesign to Messenger, an offshoot of Facebook's direct messaging function, has already started rolling out to users, TechCrunch reported Friday. Screenshots of the redesigned app — provided by social media manager Jeff Higgins to Business Insider — show that one of the most significant changes is the added emphasis on Facebook Stories, the feature where friends can share 24-hour photo and video highlights. Messenger will soon have a more slimmed-down look with a minimalist aesthetic. Gone is the Discover tab, which currently houses the hundreds of thousands of automated chatbots that Facebook users can message to ask questions to businesses, play games, and even shop from brands. Instead of Stories appearing as small video previews atop the list of online Facebook friends, Stories get their own tab in the new Messenger app.
Facebook is likely betting that giving Stories more real estate will have a similar effect in Messenger that it has had in Instagram. Stories has been a runaway success for Instagram since it launched in August 2016. As of this January, Instagram Stories had 500 million daily users. While Stories has been a boon to Facebook and its family of apps, the company can't take credit for the idea. Instagram borrowed the format and idea from Snapchat, but found much more success with the feature: Two years after introducing Stories, Instagram had twice as many people as Snapchat that were using Stories daily. The makeover of Messenger's look seems to be Facebook's reaction to changing attitudes and desires among users. Facebook is emphasizing the features users love, while hiding away those that don't. Facebook bet big that chatbots would be the communication choice of the future when it launched them in Messenger in 2016. However, these bots ended up being hard to use and confusing for users. Facebook did not respond to Business Insider's request for comment. A Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch that the Messenger redesign is rolling out to users "in the next week."SEE ALSO: 8 predictions made by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos more than 20 years ago that were right on the money Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos reportedly just spent $165 million on a Beverly Hills estate — here are all the ways the world's richest man makes and spends his money
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Facebook has launched Facebook Pay, a payment system for Facebook and Messenger. It’ll roll out first...Facebook has launched Facebook Pay, a payment system for Facebook and Messenger. It’ll roll out first for “fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace,” the company said in its announcement. It plans to…Read more...
Apple just removed an iPhone app that made it easy for people to stalk the activity of their friends and partners on Instagram
Apple removed the app Like Patrol from the App Store this weekend, CNET first reported. Like...Apple removed the app Like Patrol from the App Store this weekend, CNET first reported. Like Patrol let subscribers follow what other Instagram users were liking and commenting on, after Instagram removed the following tab in October. CNET reported in late October that Instagram had sent a cease and desist letter to Like Patrol, alleging it was scraping Instagram user data without consent. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Apple removed the Like Patrol app from the App Store on Saturday, CNET's Alfred Ng first reported. Like Patrol is a third-party app that allows subscribers to see the Instagram posts that certain users interact with. Founder Sergio Luis Quintero told CNET in an email that the app was like Instagram's "Following Tab, on steroids." For an $80 annual fee, subscribers could set notifications filtered by gender, which would alert you when certain people you followed liked or commented on posts from men or women. Life Patrol even claimed to have an algorithm that determined whether those users were attractive or not. On the app's public website, it downplays the potential for the app to be used to stalk Instagram users, saying "Check out current liked posts. You'll never miss out on the best content," and "Find new friends by looking at their recently followed!" but it's not hard to see how the app could be used more maliciously. Apple taking action to remove the app is just one example of a broader efforts among tech companies to prevent third parties from improperly using people's data. Instagram recently announced it was rolling out an update that gives users control over the Instagram data they share with third parties. Instagram's parent company, Facebook, has taken similar steps recently following a data leak that allowed developers to access user information through Facebook Groups. Like Patrol filled a gap left by the Instagram "Following" tab, which was removed in early October. At the time, the company said that the function wasn't used frequently. Like Patrol launched in July, and functions by scraping Instagram user data in a way that Instagram says violates its policies. On October 31, CNET reported that Instagram sent a cease and desist letter to Like Patrol. Apps like Like Patrol are only one of the recent ways technology has been used to spy on partners and family members. In October, the FTC brought a case against "stalkerware" manufacturer Retina-X studios. Stalkerware apps like this one can be installed without the device owner's consent or knowledge, and then used to monitor the person or even track their location. A 2014 NPR study found that 75% of domestic violence shelters worked with victims whose abusers had surveilled them with stalkerware, and this area of technology doesn't seem to be going away. Like Patrol and Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.SEE ALSO: Here's what your Instagram posts will look like without 'likes' Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Apple just revealed its AirPods Pro for $249, which feature noise cancellation. Here's everything that was wrong with the $159 pair of the wireless headphones.
Instagram has created an app for instant messaging with people on your Close Friends list in an attempt to best Snapchat
Facebook has released a new app for Instagram made for instant messaging and quick photo-sharing with...Facebook has released a new app for Instagram made for instant messaging and quick photo-sharing with those on your Close Friends list. The app, called Threads, acts as a dedicated standalone platform for communicating quicker and easier with the people you talk to most. Threads draws lots of similarities to Snapchat, an app that Instagram has often borrowed features from or blatantly copied in the fight for teens' attention and social media dominance. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Facebook has debuted a standalone app just for Instagram users to exchange messages and photos with those on their Close Friends list. The app is called Threads, and it's available starting today on both iOS and Android devices. Threads is designed as a private, dedicated space for communicating with the people you talk to the most on Instagram. Yet Threads offers a bit more than just a separate place for talking to your Close Friends, a feature Instagram introduced in November 2018 to let users share more intimate Stories with a select group of followers. Threads also has the option for users to create a short status — similar to what you would put on your AIM profile back in the day— to offer context to your Close Friends about where you are or what you're doing. Additionally, there's an option to turn on "auto-status," which will let Threads automatically update your status using your device's battery life, real-time location, and network connection. That means Threads will be able to tell your Close Friends that you're charging your phone, or driving, or at work if you let it. Facebook notes in a post about Threads that auto-status does not share your "precise location," and that your location information isn't stored on Facebook's servers. Messaging on Threads is similar to how it works currently on Instagram: You'll be able to send messages, photos, videos, and Stories, just as you can do via Instagram Direct. Chats with Close Friends will appear both on Threads and the Instagram app, but it remains to be seen how seamless the two messaging systems work together. Read more: Facebook is reportedly building a new messaging app for Instagram in its latest assault on Snapchat Threads' design to prioritize messaging and camera use — the app opens on your camera upon launch — draws incredible similarities to Snapchat's core product. Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have blatantly copied some of Snapchat's features in the past and integrated them into their own platforms. In its most successful case, Instagram duplicated Snapchat's Stories format, and quickly surpassed Snapchat in Stories users. As of January, Instagram Stories had hit 500 million daily users. Rumors about Threads' existence emerged in August just months after Instagram killed off a standalone messaging app called Direct. Direct rolled out in 2017 in a small number of countries, but it never took off.SEE ALSO: A glimpse into the subculture of e-girls and e-boys, the teen gamers who are the radical antithesis of the Instagram influencer Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Mexico has just one store where you can legally buy a gun and it's located on a heavily-guarded military base