Starting this week, sending messages over Facebook will now only be possible when using their stand-alone Messenger app. Facebook has been warning users of the move for several months now (as reported by us back in April) but before they officially pull the plug on the feature in the Facebook app, will notify users in-app and by email.
So why require a separate messaging app from its users looking to send messages to one another? That part is still a little unclear although Facebook says it benefits its users with friends generally responding to messages around 20% faster than using the Facebook app alone. Nobody likes waiting, right?
Facebook also mentions the mandatory Messenger install has received such high engagement in Europe where it’s already gone live, that they decided to go ahead and move forward with it for the rest of the world. You wont find a blog post, but here’s what Facebook told TechCrunch earlier today:
“In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they’ll need to download the Messenger app. As we’ve said, 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 experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we’ll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.”
The move comes just after Facebook bought Whatsapp for $16 billion and will only affect users on Android and iPhone. Everyone else using Facebook mobile or another platform like Windows Phone will find themselves spared from Facebook’s forced migration. Thanks, Facebook.