Facebook announced during its F8 conference that it’s bringing translations and augmented reality to its Messenger app. The company also teased that a redesign for the Messenger app is on the way and it will include a dark mode.

Augmented Reality

Facebook made its first steps in making augmented reality a huge part of its platform last year by introducing AR Spaces and AR Studio for developers. Now, the company is bringing its AR technologies to the Messenger app as a way to help businesses sell their products.

“With this launch, businesses large and small can leverage the Camera Effects Platform to easily integrate AR into their Messenger experience, bringing the virtual and physical worlds one step closer together,” Facebook’s vice president of Messenger products David Marcus said.

“So, when a person interacts with your business in Messenger, you can prompt them to open the camera, which will be pre-populated with filters and AR effects that are specific to your brand. From there, people can share the image or video to their story or in a group or one-to conversation or they can simply save it to their camera roll.”

ASUS, Kia, Nike and Sephora will be the first batch of brands to take advantage of this new augmented reality feature on the Messenger app. Nike will use the AR feature by letting its customers get a look at a new pair of sneakers, while Sephora will let users try on its makeup collections using AR filters. ASUS will use the tech to help its customers get a more comprehensive look at its phones, while Kia will provide users with an augmented reality look at the new Kia Stinger.

Spanish-English Translations

M Translations Facebook Messenger will soon be able to translate Spanish to English and vice versa in the Marketplace. Photo: Facebook

Translations are finally arriving in the Facebook Messenger app in the coming weeks to all users in the United States. At launch, Messenger users will be able to simply tap on the “Translate to…” button when Facebook’s M Translations bot detects a message that’s not the user’s default language.

“Now when people connected through Marketplace receive a message in a language that is different from their default language in Messenger, M will ask them if they want to translate the message. This will help drive commerce between buyers and sellers despite language barriers,” Marcus said.

The feature will only be available to buyers and sellers in the Messenger Marketplace. Facebook says that it plans to improve and iterate the translation feature in Messenger and eventually launch it in additional countries and languages.

Major Redesign Incoming

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased that a major redesign will be arriving for the Messenger app “very, very soon” that would simplify the user experience. During the F8 conference, the company showed off the redesigned app and it looks like Messenger will only have three tabs at the bottom navigation bar.

The top of the Messenger app also appears to have quick access to the user’s profile, the camera, video chat and a button to compose a new message, according to The Verge. Below is the search bar and the scrollable carousel for Messenger Stories. Overall, the redesigned app looks cleaner than before and is more focused on making it faster for users to communicate with friends.

Another feature that’s part of the redesign is dark mode. Not only is this a welcome change, but it’s also great for users who have smartphones equipped with OLED displays.