It Just Got Easier to Chat with Your Facebook Friends on AndroidS

Facebook just announced two updates to its Android apps, Facebook Messenger and Facebook for Android, with both of the updates dealing with improvements to chatting with your friends. Messenger will now hide a buddy list "hidden to the right" of the app, which can be revealed by swiping left.

It works like the Facebook app's menu drawer that's "on the left" of the app, but on the right side. To see which of your Facebook friends are available in your buddy list, just swipe left. It'll show everybody in a list. The Messenger app has also been tuned for speed and even allows you to send and receive SMS messages from within the app too.

Facebook for Android is getting many of the same updates to improve its messaging capability too:

  • New button in upper right of News Feed quickly shows who's available to message
  • New design for conversations in Messages
  • When sending messages, see who's active so you and your friends know how soon to expect a reply
  • Improvements to make the app more secure and reliable, including bug fixes for errors during multi-photo selections, device restarts, and push notifications
  • Many of the improvements overlap with each other, which kind of makes the Facebook Messenger app a little redundant but hey, more Facebook chatting for Facebook fiends. [Facebook]