After promising a new “Dark Mode” for Messenger at its F8 developer conference last year, Facebook has begun rolling out the feature. It’s still a work in progress, but it appears to be available to a lot more users as of this weekend, on both the iOS and Android versions of the messaging app.
Dark Mode essentially lets you view Messenger with a black background, which some users find easier on the eyes, especially when they’re using the app at night. Personally, I’m not a fan because I get headaches from reverse type in general, but if you’re interested in trying out this new feature, I’ve put the instructions below. For now, the only way to unlock it appears to be through a fun little Easter Egg in the Messenger app, but it’s super simple:
- Open the Messenger app on your iPhone or Android device.
- Type a crescent moon emoji into your chat window.
- Text the crescent moon emoji to one of your friends (or to yourself).
Once you follow those steps, you’ll see an animation of raining moons with the message “You’ve Found Dark Mode!” Then you’ll have the option to enable it in your settings. If you’re not into Dark Mode once you try it, just tap Dark Mode in your settings to turn it off.
That’s pretty much it! If Dark Mode doesn’t work for you after you’ve followed the steps above, try the following:
- Tap the crescent moon emoji a second time after you’ve texted it to someone. (This seems to enable the function for some users based on reports on Twitter.)
- Force quit the Messenger app and restart it, then try again.
Also worth noting: Facebook appears to be rolling out the feature incrementally. For instance, it didn’t work for me when I tried it yesterday, but it worked this morning. So it’s probably only a matter of time before all Messenger users get it. Now go enjoy the dark side.