According to Facebook’s vice president of messaging product David Marcus, the Facebook Messenger app is “too cluttered.” We agree. Over the course of 2018, Marcus plans to “invest in massively simplifying and streamlining Messenger.” In the spirit of cooperation, we would like to suggest a list of unnecessary features that could be cut from Messenger.
The following list is by no means complete because the list of features included in Facebook Messenger, like x, tends towards infinity. Off the top of our heads, however, these could be the first to go:
- “Waving” at people. This is basically poking for Messenger. Is poking still a thing? If it is, we don’t need a second one.
- The Games tab. It’s already a little weird that there are games in Messenger, but I’m willing to concede that someone’s aunt plays them. A whole tab for exploring them is a bit much, though.
- Ditto the Chatbots tab. No one is using chatbots.
- The “Send or Request Money” feature. At the very least, you can stop highlighting literally every single dollar amount in every message with a link to send or request that much money. I promise, when I say “Jeez the new Tesla is $35,000?!” I’m not about to ask for a 35 grand bank transfer through Facebook.
- “Start a plan.” I’m torn because this actually seems like a decent idea. If I say “Let’s do dinner tomorrow at 8PM,” creating a mini event is convenient. On the other hand, the implementation is so half-baked it’s hardly worth it. Either beef this up or cut it.
- The “M” Assistant. Here’s how the smart assistant ranking goes: Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Bixby, whatever Blackberry is still trying to do, then M. The idea of combining a smart AI with human-powered recommendations was a neat concept, but you’ve already killed that last part. Finish the job and just get rid of M altogether.
- The many, many, many GIF search features. I use GIF search on Messenger. I definitely don’t use 50 different GIF searches regularly. Maybe this is your attempt to provide an “open” extension platform, but if multiple GIF searches are the best your extension platform has to offer, maybe it should go the way of the Chrome Web Store.
- Snapchat. Instagram (which Facebook also owns) and Messenger are both gaining Snapchat features at an alarming—though mostly alarming to Snapchat itself—rate. Personally, I like some of these features, but they’re redundant. Maybe pick one platform or the other? I vote Instagram.
We get that the idea behind these features is to keep people inside Messenger as much as possible, but the truth is no one wants to replace other, better apps with some side feature inside a texting app. They want to message their friends without annoying crap popping up in their face. You’ve already cornered the market by getting everyone on Earth and their mothers on Facebook and making Messenger part of the package. Just let people use it without interruption.