Facebook Messenger has only (optional) darker. Pitch Black, actually. This is because Facebook today adds a switch to the messaging program's settings menu that enables a dark theme. Messenger had it before (as of March), but it was hidden behind an Easter egg that involved sending a crescent semoji into one-on-one or group chat. This solution is no longer necessary.
This feature rolls out globally this morning to the 1.3 billion people using Messenger.
"So far, the only way people could access dark mode was … [an] Easter egg activation – but [now] people will be able to switch it on in their settings," wrote Facebook in a blog post.
So how is it possible to activate Messenger's dark mode? Try tapping your profile photo ̵
In addition to being a little easier in the eyes, Messenger's new dark theme should slightly extend the battery life of phones with OLED screens, such as Apple's latest iPhone series (iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max), Samsung Galaxy series and LG G8 and V40. This is because these screens can activate and deactivate each pixel without affecting the pixels directly adjacent, saving power.
Facebook Messenger joins a growing dark theme club with popular apps like Slack, Google Chrome, YouTube, Twitter, Google's Gboard Keyboard, Google News, Google Maps and Signal, among others. In related news, Google has tested a system-wide dark mode in the latest version of Android, Android Q and Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Apple will follow a dark theme in IOS 13.
The launch of Messenger's dark theme follows the rollout of wired messages, and an unending feature that allows users to delete a message from a one-on-one or group chat for up to 10 minutes after it has been sent.
It's also coming after a year where Facebook returned to "streamlining" and "simplifying" the Messenger experience. In a blog post published in January, the former Messenger boss David Marcus predicted that the service had become messy with new – albeit in some cases welcome – features such as chat extensions and extended peer-to-peer payment.
Facebook intends to eventually unify the infrastructure that underlies its family of messaging services – Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct – with end-to-end encryption, according to the New York Times . (Currently, only WhatsApp has enabled encryption, although the feature can be turned on manually in Messenger.) Users can still download each app separately after migration is complete, but WhatsApp users will be able to send messages to friends who has Facebook or Instagram, for example even if they do not have WhatsApp.
"Over the past two years, we've built a lot of opportunities to find the features that keep us apart. Many of them have found their product market suitable; some haven't," Marcus wrote early last year. "While driving to build these new features, the app became too messy. Expect us to invest in massive simplification and streamlining of Messenger this year."