Home / Mobile / News / Facebook Messenger finally gets automatic dark mode on Android, a year after it first landed on iOS

Facebook Messenger finally gets automatic dark mode on Android, a year after it first landed on iOS

Unlike its popular sibling WhatsApp, Facebook’s Messenger app did not support an automatic theming mode to switch between dark and light themes on Android.
Unlike its popular sibling WhatsApp, Facebook’s Messenger app did not support an automatic theming mode to switch between dark and light themes on Android. (Shutterstock)

A new setting ‘System’ theme setting is being tested on Android, which will make the Facebook Messenger app follow the system theme and switch the light and dark theme accordingly.

Smartphone usage has seen a dramatic increase, with studies showing users increasingly relying on their mobile devices during the coronavirus pandemic. Developers of popular apps have been working to add useful features to keep their users engaged – while others have added small, but important improvements. Facebook Messenger for Android is reportedly set to gain one such feature that has existed on iPhones since last year – the ability to automatically switch between light and dark themes.

Also read: Facebook Messenger crosses the 5 billion download mark on the Google Play Store

App developers have increasingly been adding dark themes over the past few years, as offering a dark version of the interface is easier on users eyes at night. While viewing dark text on a bright background is a lot easier during the day when there is ample ambient light, watching a bright screen at night can cause eye strain – which is where a dark mode can come in handy.

Unlike its popular sibling WhatsApp, Facebook’s Messenger app did not support an automatic theming mode to switch between dark and light themes on Android. This means that unlike WhatsApp, turning on your phone’s dark theme (or dark mode) will not change the theme on Messenger accordingly. Users have to visit the Facebook Messenger settings section and manually toggle a switch every time they want to change the theme.

Here's what the new “System” setting looks like. 
Here's what the new “System” setting looks like.  (r/VincentJoshuaET)

According to Reddit user Vincent Joshua, who spotted a new setting in the Facebook Messenger app for Android, users will soon be able to choose a new “System” setting alongside the default on and off switches. Enabling this feature will make the Facebook Messenger app follow the system theme and switch the light and dark theme accordingly.

Read more: Here's when Facebook could release end-to-end encryption for Messenger and Instagram

The new theme setting appears to have been enabled on version 314.1.0.19.119 of the Facebook Messenger app for Android, but we were unable to find the setting on our test devices running Android 11. It appears that Facebook is rolling out the feature slowly to users, so it could be a while before the feature is enabled on your device, even after you have updated to the latest version.

We recently reported that Facebook Messenger became one of the latest apps to cross the 5 billion download mark on the Google Play Store, joining the main Facebook app and WhatsApp, which crossed the five billion app install mark in 2019 and 2020 respectively. As of now, only Google and Facebook’s apps have made it to the exclusive list of apps that have counted over 5 billion installations on Android devices via the Google Play Store.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews, also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.