Just weeks after announcing the merging of Facebook and Instagram's messaging services, Facebook has revealed a brand new look for its Messenger app. The colourful facelift includes a brand new icon – but some users think it looks very familiar.
Until now, the all-blue speech bubble had remained largely unchanged since the standalone Messenger app's arrival in 2011, but the new update sees it replaced by a version featuring a gradient of purple, pink and orange. Yep, it seems the Facebook team has taken logo inspiration from somewhere rather close to home: Instagram.
In what looks like an attempt to emphasise Messenger's new cross-app chat abilities, Facebook has created a much more Insta-esque design, with the gradient strongly resembling the current Instagram icon's own purple, red and orange hues (below). Indeed, if it wasn't clear before that the two apps are part of the same family, it certainly is now.
“Today, Messenger gets a new look 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,” Facebook said in a blog post (opens in new tab). "Our new logo reflects a shift to the future of messaging, a more dynamic, fun, and integrated way to stay connected to the people you’re close to."
While Facebook didn't explicitly acknowledge the Instagram connection in terms of design, Twitter users were quick to notice the resemblance. And some are even wondering if this is the start of a longer process of unification – could other Facebook-owned apps such as WhatsApp, or even the main Facebook app itself, be next in line for the gradient treatment?
And so the Facebook apps unification begins... The Messenger icon is now half Facebook colors, half Instagram, as they merge the messaging of both together.I'm sure lots of people will hate it either way. pic.twitter.com/lmnpFdssqIOctober 10, 2020
ICYMI:The Messenger icon has changed to Instagram because whatever. pic.twitter.com/5rR6qlsvGEOctober 13, 2020
We think the whole point of the new logo is to communicate Messenger's integration with Instagram.#marketing #advertising #Messenger pic.twitter.com/ioNIAC5a88October 14, 2020
Facebook Messenger's new update is ❤. Has changed it's icon color and became Instagram's new sibling. How cute! 🥰😍☺October 15, 2020
As for the logo design itself, we'd say it's a successful attempt to inject some fun and friendliness into a previously rather cold design – which perhaps goes to show that the company is aware that Instagram's branding is simply more fun than Facebook's.
Along with the new logo, Facebook has revealed customisable chat themes such as 'love' and 'tie-dye' (below). "Together with new delight features like selfie stickers and vanish mode that are coming soon," Facebook says, "making your chats fun and personalised has never been easier."
With Google's new Gmail logo bringing it in line with the rest of Google Workspace, it seems consistency is the order of the day for tech companies right now, particularly when it comes to icons and logos. With this in mind, we wouldn't be surprised if Facebook announces "fun" (read: Instagram-inspired) new looks for more of its apps in the coming months. If you're looking for more logo inspiration, check out our 10 best logos of all time.