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Facebook Messages get a needed redesign

Facebook's Messages program
The new look of Messages on Facebook.Facebook

Facebook is adding several new features these days, but the latest existing one to get a re-do is Messages. The messaging program that works from within Facebook's "walls" has seemed a bit old-school with its mundane look and utility, just a list of messages showing essentially the sender's name, photo and the last date you and the sender messaged. The social network said Wednesday that Message's new look, as well as "improved" features, should make Messages more appealing to users:

The new side-by-side layout lets you click your most recent message on the left to see the whole conversation on the right. You can also bring conversations to life with multiple photos and emoticons.  

You can also now search Messages using a sender's name "or keyword from the main messages view. And for easier navigation, we’ve added keyboard commands. To see the full list of available shortcuts, type Alt Q on a PC or Control Q on a Mac," Facebook said in its announcement

The change will be available to some users today, and should be rolled out to all users over the next several weeks, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News.

In a more-detailed posting from Facebook engineering, Adam Wolff wrote that not only will Messages have improved features and a new look, but that "we've also been improving the reliability of messages across the site."

Facebook, he wrote, has been working to "address issues with disconnection, incorrect message counts, and missed and duplicated messages."

If you've ever had problems with any of those issues, you will indeed appreciate the new fixes for more than their cosmetic value.

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