Facebook Redesigns Messages With Side-By-Side Layout

Facebook announced today that it has redesigned Facebook Messages with side-by-side layout and easier search.

The new layout shows a scroll menu of all your messages on the left, with the full contents of a selected message on the right. The style is similar to many email clients.

Facebook says users can “bring conversations to life with multiple photos and emoticons.” Photos have long been a driving form of content for Facebook, so that’s no surprise but is a cool feature.

The social network claims it has simplified search by allowing users to find messages by sender name or keyword and made navigation easier by adding keyboard commands.

Facebook says the update will roll out to a small percentage starting today and will be available to all users in the next couple weeks.

Facebook Engineering also posted a note today explaining the technical aspects and challenges they faced in building the new message layout, an effort they dubbed “the mercury project.”