Facebook Refreshes Messenger With New—Yet Familiar—Color Scheme

Changes also include more chat themes and expression tools

The new color scheme, chat themes and custom Reactions launch today. Facebook
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Messenger From Facebook looks different beginning today with new, yet familiar colors that resemble those used by Instagram, another member of the Facebook family of applications.

Facebook began rolling out the refreshed look for its messaging app today, incorporating the new color scheme into its logo and main chat theme.


However, while the similarities to Instagram’s palette are undeniable, Messenger director of marketing Christine Purcell said in an interview that the refresh is just one part of a journey that began well over a year ago to help Messenger evolve from “a messaging app closely related to Facebook to a much broader place where people can hang out with people they’re close to, with holistic experiences to make people feel like they’re together.”

Further addressing the color scheme, she said, “We have been working on an identity that is equally vibrant and exciting as our products. We moved from more of a blue to ultraviolet. It was designed from the sense of vibrancy, having our own sense of identity within the family of apps, and we really landed on something. Instagram is certainly a big part of it.”

The new gradient is meant to reflect the more youthful and playful tone Messenger has adopted, with more on the way, according to Facebook.

The refresh follows the company’s move at the end of September to incorporate top Messenger features into Instagram Direct, the photo- and video-sharing network’s messaging option.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed plans in January 2019 to integrate the infrastructure powering its messaging services (Instagram Direct, Messenger, WhatsApp), saying at the time that while the three platforms would remain independent, people would be able to send messages across them, and end-to-end encryption would be extended to more of the company’s services for security purposes.

Facebook said more than 100 billion messages are sent across its family of apps every day, adding that 4 out of 5 people who use messaging apps do so because spending more time connecting with friends and family is important to them.

New chat themes and colors are also part of the Messenger refresh, as are custom Reactions, and the company said more message effects and selfie stickers are being added to the mix later this year, as well as more “shared experiences,” according to Purcell.

More than 10 million people customize their chat threads in Messenger every day with features including custom colors and nicknames, Facebook said, adding that there are over 150 million video calls daily via Messenger and more than 200 million videos sent each day via the app.



Purcell emphasized that the new look for Messenger is part of a vision the app’s team has had of seeing it become a true place for people to come together and share experiences, pointing to other major feature updates including group video calling option Messenger Rooms and Watch Together, which enables people to share their reactions to Facebook Watch videos during video calls or Rooms sessions.

Most Messenger users globally should see the new color scheme, chat themes, colors and custom Reactions beginning today.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.