If you have grown accustomed to using the instant messaging features of Facebook’s mobile app, you will soon be forced to switch to the standalone app, Messenger.
According to TechCrunch, who first reported the news, Facebook has already begun notifying users they will no longer have the option to message back and forth with others in Facebook for iOS and Android. To chat on mobile, downloading the Facebook Messenger app will become mandatory.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg alluded to this change back in January in an onstage talk conducted by TechCrunch, saying he wanted to provide users with a more focused experience for messaging and reduce the friction caused by having messaging be a part of the main Facebook app.
…the other thing that we’re doing with Messenger is making it so once you have the standalone Messenger app, we are actually taking messaging out of the main Facebook app. And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.
While providing a more focused experience Facebook could unintentionally be alienating users who actually enjoy using the messaging function of the main app and aren’t thrilled by the idea of now having to switch back and forth between two apps.
At this time there is no date set for when this change will be rolled out, but my expectation is sooner rather than later.
Have you already gotten used to using Messenger? Are you annoyed by the idea of having to download another app? Let me know what you think in the comments section.