Facebook Messenger threads, Apple Music Browse tab and Instagram Checkout [app updates]

There has been some activity with regards to updates to popular apps. Facebook Messenger has received support for message threads, Apple Music has a revamped Browse tab and Instagram has a new Checkout feature for in-app product purchases. Here’s a detailed look at all these app updates.

Facebook Messenger Threaded Replies

Facebook has added threaded replies to Messenger. The new feature lets users long press on any message and reply to it directly in the conversation. The reply can include text, emojis, photos, stickers and even GIFs. This helps keep the conversation contextual, similar to how replies work in WhatsApp. Threaded replies work in group conversations as well as Messenger in browsers.

Facebook Messenger Threads

Even though Facebook said that they will be cleaning up the Messenger UI,¬† it still looks as cluttered as ever. I particularly dislike how many buttons show next to the text field. Even Messenger’s dark mode implementation looks the worst out of all apps that support dark mode.

Apple Music Browse Update

Even though there was no iOS or app update, Apple Music’s Browse tab has received a facelift. This is a much needed change as it exposes more content to users, like Spotify’s app. The new design has a featured section followed by major additions like the Daily Top 100. This includes the top 100 songs from every country where Apple Music is available.

Apple Music Browse

Scroll down and you get different curated playlists like motivational and workout focused. These playlists encompass different genres, but all within the same topic. So you could have rock, rap or jazz playlists but all focused around workouts. The next section is Just Updated¬†which includes more playlists like best of the week, today’s hits and more. The next sections show Hot Tracks, New Music and Local & Regional Releases. If these don’t satisfy your search, there’s the More to Explore section where you can access genres, moods, top charts and music videos. The Browse sections ends with more playlists, Beats 1 and Coming Soon.

As I mentioned above, this is a much needed change but perhaps not a well though out one. As you can see from the list of sections, it’s kind of a mess and some of these playlist sections just seem repetitive.

Instagram Checkout

Instagram has become a popular app for users to find products to shop. Users look towards influencers to make purchase decisions. Once decided, users can tap on product tags and go to external websites to complete purchases. However, with Checkout, Instagram is changing all this. The company’s aim is to enable ecommerce within the app. Users can select product attributes like color or size and also pay, without leaving the app.

Instagram Checkout

Users will have to enter their shipping address and payment details when they place an order for the first time. The information will be saved for faster checkout in the future. Instagram will also notify users about their product’s shipping and delivery status.

The update is available as a closed beta in US only for now, with selected brands like Adidas, Nike, Burberry, Huda Beauty, Zara and the likes.