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April 10, 2014

Facebook Killing off Messaging in Main App

Social Network Wants its Members to Use its Messenger App

Facebook is yanking chat from its main app in the hopes of giving usage of its standalone Messenger app a much-needed boost.

Once the change is implemented, when users tap the messages button, they will immediately be sent to Messenger.

Chat will first disappear from the social network’s main app for its European users, but will eventually be rolled out worldwide, the Verge is reporting.  The change is expected to begin in about two weeks. Once messaging is disabled, those attempting to use it who have yet to download Messenger will be encouraged to do so.

Facebook has confirmed this is not a test and will soon be the new norm — although there will be some exceptions, according to the Verge

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger

Users of Android phones with low memory and Windows phones and tablets will escape the change — for now.

Facebook news app Paper will also keep in-app messaging.

The social media firm has been pushing Messenger for some time now.

In December of 2012, Facebook opened it up so non-Facebook users could sign up for its Messenger app using just their name and phone number.

The move was an obvious bid to make Messenger more competitive with SMS and other third-party messaging services that only require a phone number to sign up.

Clearly Facebook’s efforts to boost its Messenger usage have not been terribly successful thus far, given the social network’s most recent decision — one that could well annoy a number of chat users.

The Verge pointed out that while “chatting in Messenger is a far better experience than in Facebook’s main app,” not all users will be pleased to have to have two Facebook apps instead of one.

“In an age where home screen real estate value is at its peak, finding a place for one more app could be annoying,” the tech site pointed out.

The change could, however, be a signal that Facebook will reduce the size of its main app. And a Facebook spokesman’s statement to the Verge seems to confirm this.

“Once the process is complete, we expect the core apps to be faster,” the spokesperson said.

Facebook is putting a lot more emphasis on mobile these days — its recent $19-billion acquisition of popular messaging app WhatsApp proves that.

It is safe to surmise this will not be the last change we see as the social network continues to focus on mobile.

Messenger is available for iOS, Android and Windows.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.