In just a few short days, the Facebook app will no longer support messaging friends within the Facebook app. Instead, Facebook is assuming that your desire to talk to friends on Facebook is so immense that you’ll download—and use—an entirely new and separate app to continue chatting. Once the messaging feature is deleted in-app, users will have to download and install Facebook’s standalone Messenger app to continue their conversations. The app has been available for download since 2011, but now the company is putting all its power behind it and forcing users to change their mobile messaging habits.
With over 200 million Facebook users chatting every month, messaging is one of the most popular activities on the social network. So, why the decision to force people into the Messenger app when they seem happy and busy with what they have now? By having a single messaging application Facebook believes users will spend more time using Facebook tools, which will give the company more information about users and how they interact with Facebook products. There hasn’t been an official blog post entry about the change—perhaps to avoid the traditional torrent of criticism Facebook receives every time a change is made. A statement released regarding the shift clearly states, “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 experience.”