Facebook scraps messaging for iPhone and Android, forcing users to download Messenger app

Saqib Shah
July 29, 2014

We knew it was coming but now it’s official, Facebook has scrapped messaging on its iPhone and Android apps.

Consequently, those wishing to chat with their Facebook friends will have to download the company’s standalone Messenger app.

Facebook had already made the changes in Europe back in April but now, due to positive results, it is rolling them out worldwide.

Still there are some users that have been spared, mainly due to certain devices being excluded. As a result, Facebook members who use the service via the Windows Phone and iPad apps and mobile web and desktop site will still be able to chat via the service’s messaging tab.

The forced migration is set to take place over the next few days. Android and iPhone users should expect to receive notifications telling them to download the Messenger app every time they try to message their friends via the Facebook app. Finally, the service will stop altogether.

So, what happens next? Facebook members will be automatically redirected to the Messenger app every time they try to access the Messenger tab on the Facebook app. Having already used the new functions due to our UK-based location, we can attest to their ease of use. It is a swift change from one app to the other, and your use of the Messenger app will obviously depend on how much you messaged your Facebook friends in the first place.

Although, it’s hard to see Facebook Messenger becoming as popular as WhatsApp in terms of its standalone status. But what does Facebook care when it owns WhatsApp anyway.

However, the firm has noted that users tend to reply quicker via the Messenger app, up to 20% faster to be exact. Additionally, Facebook claims that the Messenger chat experience is more varied for users. It says that people send more photos, group messages, videos, stickers and audio clips while using Messenger.

As you can tell, the social network has been touting Messenger’s increased functionality of late. The app has even received some solid updates recently, including recorded video sharing and a split-screen selfie button as Facebook looks to further emulate its favourite messaging app; Snapchat.

With 200 million users on Messenger sending 12 billion messages a day, this change will only increase the app’s popularity.



About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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