Facebook to remove messaging from iOS, Android apps, push users toward Messenger app

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Date: Wednesday, July 30th, 2014, 11:54
Category: iOS, iPhone, News, Software

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You’re going to have to start using Facebook’s Messenger app.

Per TechCrunch, Facebook has announced that the service will stop allowing messaging in its main iPhone and Android apps, and force all their users around the world to download its standalone Messenger app. Facebook first started requiring users in Europe to use Messenger back in April, but after seeing “positive results” in terms of engagement, has begun rolling out the plan to its entire user base. The company has stated that people on Messenger reply about 20% faster, and not supporting multiple version of mobile chat will help it make both its main apps and Messenger better.

Mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites like before, and will be spared from this forced migration for now.


Previously, users could chat from a Messages tab in Facebook’s smartphone apps. They also had the option to download Messenger, which would turn the Messages tab into a notifications hub and shortcut that would fast-switch users into Messenger when tapped.

Soon, though, iPhone and Android users will be forced into this bouncing around. They’ll get a few optional notices to download Messenger before chat eventually stops working in the main apps. Facebook will also send an email to people the change will impact that explains why it’s happening.

In what could be viewed as an attempt to avoid too much press attention Facebook declined to publish a blog post about the change. Instead, it’s notifying users directly, and also sent a journalist the following statement:

“In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they’ll need to download the Messenger app. As we’ve said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we’ll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.”

While potentially unpopular as a change, Facebook has stated that people send more photos, group messages, videos, stickers, and audio clips while using Messenger.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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