Facebook has begun testing a new Messenger app on Android. The details for the test group are on the lighter side, however the folks at Facebook have offered some explanation as to the new features. Basically, this update means a new look and feel as well as easier and greater access to your friends — even if you aren’t friends with them on Facebook.

As for the new look and feel, Facebook has said the Messenger app is now easier to get around. Some of the changes will include the ability to tap across the top or swiping to the left and right to see recent conversations, a list of the people you message with and the settings.

The easier access to friends bit comes in with a Messenger icon. This will be sitting next to the contacts name and if that icon is showing — that means your friend is also using the Messenger app on a mobile device. And perhaps more important, it also means that user will get instant notifications of any message you send.

Next up is the greater access portion. This basically means you will now have access to not only your Facebook friends, but others. Once this app arrives for all, you will be able to message contacts with a phone number, even if you aren’t friends on Facebook. The one catch here is that you will be asked to confirm your phone number.

Anyway, at present this updated Facebook Messenger app is only available in testing. The folks at Facebook haven’t offered any hints as to when the testing phase may end, but they have said it will include a “limited number of people using Messenger for Android.”

SOURCE: Facebook