Facebook has been experimenting with (and subsequently reverting) changes to its Messenger UI over the last few months. All throughout this testing, the most vocal demand we’ve seen from our own readers was for a dark mode to better supplement the blinding white design. Now, according to famed social app teardown expert Jane Manchun Wong, Facebook Messenger is finally starting to test a dark mode — but only in some countries, and it’s still incomplete.
Facebook Messenger, seemingly due to prolonged external nagging, has started public testing Dark Mode in certain countries
They have put up a fair warning that Dark Mode isn’t everywhere yet so don’t complain when some UI burns your eyes off
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) December 31, 2018
We don’t know the list of supported countries, so YMMV. So far as we can tell in our own testing, the US isn’t included. As a result, we aren’t entirely sure what it looks like, either.
If you are in a supported country, based on the screenshot provided by Wong, a new “Dark Mode” setting should appear in the “Me” section of the app. A warning detailing that the new dark mode is still a work in progress will also appear — though it isn’t immediately clear if that message appears when toggling the setting, or when loading the section which contains it.
Screenshot of the warning that appears, toggle visible at bottom.
If you are in one of the supported countries and you decide to flip the switch, be careful at night, as the incomplete dark mode implementation could unexpectedly blind you.
See what it looks like
Although our own tests to try to trigger the new dark mode have failed, Jane Manchun Wong pointed out to us that was able to activate it successfully and snag a handful of screenshots late last year (which already feels weird to say about 2018).
Facebook Messenger is testing Dark Mode in the new UI
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 5, 2018
The new mode looks like you’d probably expect, replacing all the stark and bright white backgrounds with black, and inverting text from black to white to match. The search bar and some other rounded UI elements remain gray, but darker. Based on the screenshots provided, in at least a few spots some parts of the interface are still white, though.
Collage of the new dark mode from various spots in the app by @wongmjane.
Although the new dark mode might still be in testing, it seems Facebook is pretty far along with it. Hopefully, it trickles down to everyone else soon.