Fire up your phone and you might notice something different about the Facebook Messenger icon.
The social media firm has decided to tweak its colour scheme, ditching the traditional blue-and-white look for an Instagram-esque gradient of blue, purple, pink and orange.
It could take a bit of getting used to.
Why has the Facebook Messenger icon changed?
Facebook has said the new logo is intended to ‘mark our continued evolution from a simple way to message your Facebook friends, to a place to hang out with your favourite people, on your favourite apps and devices.’
However, the similarities between the new Messenger icon and the Instagram icon are too blatant to dismiss as mere coincidence.
Sure enough, last month Facebook announced an integration between Facebook Messenger and Instagram.
‘More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends’ Instagram chief Adam Mosseri and vice president of Facebook Messenger, Stan Chudnovsky, wrote in a Facebook blog post on September 30.
‘That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram – so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use.’
The integration means that Facebook Messenger and Instagram users will soon be able to message each other across the two platforms.
‘Messages and calls from friends and family using Instagram will stay in your Instagram app. The main change is that people using the Messenger app can now reach you on Instagram without you needing to download a new app, and vice versa,’ the blog post continues.
Facebook says this capability will have rolled out to ‘most users in North America’ soon, with others likely to follow shortly after.
It isn’t yet clear when users based in the UK will receive the update.
New Messenger features
To mark the icon update and cross-platform integration, Facebook has also announced the launch of 10 new features:
- Watch Together, which lets you tune into TV shows and video with other people on a video call
- Vanish Mode, which makes messages disappear after they’re seen or when you close the chat
- Selfie Stickers that you can create and customise yourself
- Chat Colors
- Custom Emoji Reactions
- Forwarding, which is limited to up to five friends or groups
- Replies, which like WhatsApp, lets you respond directly to a specific message to avoid confusion
- Animated Message Effects
- Message Controls that let you decide who can message you directly, and who can’t message you at all
- Enhanced Reporting and Blocking Updates, which allow you to report full conversations as well as specific messages on Instagram