Facebook is forcing messenger app on users

Last updated 11:19 30/07/2014

POP-POP: Messages will soon disappear entirely from iOS and Android Facebook apps as users are herded into the separate Messages app.

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This post was originally published on Mashable.

If Foursquare's attempt to force users into Swarm taught us anything, it's that people really don't like being forced into using apps.

Facebook, never one to heed the lessons of history, will soon be forcing its iOS and Android users over to Facebook Messenger, and many users aren't happy about it.

Facebook sent an email to users Monday, alerting them that messages will soon be disappearing from Facebook's iPhone and Android app (for now, messages will remain available in the iPad and Windows Phone app, as well as on the mobile web and desktop.)

While Facebook has been suggesting users make the switch over to Messenger for some time, the social network stopped short of actually forcing users to do so. But over the next few days, users who have yet to download Messenger will see new reminders prompting them to get it. Eventually, messages will disappear entirely and users will only be able to check messages via the web or Messenger app (users of the main app will still get message notifications, however).

While Facebook Messenger has been available since 2011, many users who have still not downloaded the app are reluctant to do so and are not pleased about the new push to force them into the app.

"So my options are "download Facebook messenger" or "stop using Facebook for chat". Has facebook considered how popular option B will be?" Laurie Voss said on Twitter.

"Ugh. Hate the splintering of apps. I don't want separate Swarm. Don't want a separate Facebook Messenger. Annoying,"  Tammy Gordon tweeted.

So why would Facebook be forcing users into an app that some people still don't want to use? The company says Messenger is "faster and more reliable" than chatting within the main Facebook app. Messenger also has more features, like voice and video calling. But the real reason may have more to do with Facebook's bottom line.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed during last week's earnings call that the company eventually wants to monetise Messenger and the app will eventually "overlap" with payments, though, as TechCrunch notes, he acknowledged the company still has a lot of work to do before users will see payments cropping up in the app.

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Either way, those who are holding out on installing Messenger have a few more days to enjoy chatting in the main Facebook app, before it goes away for good.

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.


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