First up, Facebook is creating a new version of its Messenger mobile app dubbed ‘Project LightSpeed.’ The project makes some bold claims, such as being able to launch in under two seconds and clocking in at just 30MB total size.
Further, LightSpeed will keep all of Messenger’s features, unlike the Messenger Lite app Facebook designed for low-end hardware. Messenger Lite abandons some of Messenger’s high-end features to get a smaller app with better performance.
LightSpeed will use “an entirely new codebase” to achieve its small footprint and fast speeds. However, it’s not clear when it’ll be ready. Facebook notes in the blog that it’ll take time to roll out. Additionally, Facebook confirmed during its F8 keynote that it would make its messaging efforts cross-platform — something that’s been rumoured for some time.
The faster mobile app isn’t the only new application Facebook’s developing. The blog post says a Messenger desktop client is coming to Windows and macOS later this year.
Users will be able to access messages, video chat and more in the desktop app.
Finally, Messenger will get new features as well. Facebook is testing a ‘Watch Together’ feature that lets users join a virtual room and watch videos together simultaneously.
There’s also a new ‘Close Friends’ section that should help users find pictures, videos and other information from close friends. At the F8 conference, Facebook hinted at a new ‘Emoji status’ feature in its video showing off the Close Friends features.
On top of all that, Facebook plans to make Messenger end-to-end encrypted. There was no date attached to when that will happen, but the company did note it’s committed to “making Messenger end-to-end encrypted by default.”
The company is also working towards better bot systems and improved customer service opportunities built on Messenger, such as booking appointments with barbers or dentists in-app (currently testing in beta), among other things.