Facebook announced a major overhaul of its Messenger service that focuses on privacy and speed. And it’s coming to Windows and Mac, too.
“2019 will be a transition year for Messenger, and for messaging as we proceed to build an app that realizes a privacy-focused vision for social networking,” Facebook director Asha Sharma explains. “The idea being, that if we were to start to build a social network today, we’d start with messaging first.”
Code-named Project LightSpeed, the all-new Facebook Messenger is designed to launch in under 2 seconds and take up less than 30 MB of storage space on any device. That’s 70 MB lighter than the smallest Messenger version today, Facebook says.
The new Messenger will also feature a new user interface that lets you connect quickly with the friends and family you message most. It will also feature new video tools, since this is so popular on the platform: Over 410 million people connect over video chat on Messenger each month, Facebook notes, and its users spend 2 billion minutes every day on Facebook’s various video offerings. One new feature, co-watching, will help people watch videos together remotely. And another will let them easily share videos.
Facebook also revealed that it is now testing a desktop Messenger app for both Windows and Mac.
“People want to seamlessly message from any device, and sometimes they just want a little more space to share and connect with the people they care about most,” Sharma says. “You can download Messenger Desktop — and enjoy the same features as the app on your phone — like group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger. We are testing this now and will roll it out globally later this year.”
Finally, Facebook will make all communications in Messenger end-to-end encrypted by default.