Starting this week, you’ll need to install Messenger in order to send/receive messages on Facebook


Facebook Messenger UI update

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.

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Guess I don’t need any of the Facebook apps anymore.

    1. Or maybe even Facebook altogether.

      1. I deleted my face book account two weeks ago and haven’t really missed it. Just got sick of brag book.

  2. Does this include a way to only make yourself available to certain people? I wouldn’t mind using it, but I hate getting notifications from EVERYBODY when there’s only one or two people I want messaging me.

    1. I’m confused, here, Eric. Can’t ANY of your FB friends message you right now, regardless of whether you are using the app or not? I’m not sure how this would change that. (?)

      1. I meant specific to notifications. If I enable notifications, I will get a notification for every message, no matter who it’s from. I’d like to set it up in a way where I only get notified of a couple of people.

        1. OK, I’m with you. I don’t have that many friends that message me via FB, so not a deal for me, but I can see where it would annoy you with a lot of notifications.

  3. “…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.”

    So, all but 17 people, then?

  4. Ugh. Screw you, Facebook. Why are you forcing me to install your unnecessarily large and crappy messenger app?! F**K OFF.

  5. You want me? Text me, call me, email me, Google+ me, comment on my blog, send a Hangout request, heck you could even Tweet me if I’m not mistaken. Adding another LAYER to something that already exists badly is probably the worst way to contact me or anyone. Seriously, I thought technology was supposed to simplify things. Creating a separate messenger service is nothing more than an exercise in FB asserting itself into the Android ecosystem because it can, not because it needs to.

  6. Not gonna happen.

  7. Facebook Messenger takes up another 30+MB of memory. And that’s on top of the already gargantuan Facebook main app, which takes up almost 120MB of memory. F**ing ridiculous. Not to mention that Messenger probably forces itself to stay resident in memory, which means less memory for other apps. Oh but people will respond 20% faster!

    1. And your phone will be 20% slower.

    2. Didn’t believe you. I checked. My facebook app on my phone is currently at 105MB, 39 for the app, and 66 for data. There is also 13Mb in the cache. At least I can clear that.

      And I just installed the app this week, mostly so I’d have “facebook” on my “share to” links. So, 105MB on a new install means 120MB is probably just a few more days away for me.

      I also installed facebook messenger, but it included location by default in all messages — then it crashed and crashed. I quickly stopped trying out facebook messenger and uninstalled it. LINE is much better. I use it a lot. (currently 140MB with 84MB being on my SC card (photos, I’m guessing)) Viber is OK too (too easy to inadvertiently send location, though, and you can’t shut it up and still use your device for presentations (currently 44MB)). I know almost no one on WhatsApp.

      1. Location in messages can be turned off in settings, so hardly the end of the world is it in that sense.

        1. Not trusting facebook, the first thing I did was to go into settings and turn location reporting off. And yes, it could be the end of the world for some people. No app should send your physical location without you explicitly allowing it to.

  8. The annoying thing about it is you still get notified about a message and can read the start of it in the notification but then if you don’t have the messenger app installed you can’t read the rest of it.

  9. Crap social network can remain on my mobile browser. I haven’t used the app in years and it’s been great.

  10. I login to FB about once a month to see if anyone sent me a direct message about something important. I decided FB didn’t make me happy and only complicated my relationships. So I use it to find people when I want to and other than that avoid it like the plague. No app for me. I refuse to be forced to use anyone’s software.

  11. While I’m with everyone here, in that Facebook can shove it up their ***, I guarantee the majority eventually install it. I will avoid installing if possible and just go to my browser to view the few inbox messages I get.

  12. So around 190 MB of RAM for full Facebook expirience? Are they out of their mind? So nope. I’ll be using a browser.

  13. I don’t see the big deal here. Google asks you to have hangouts separate from G+ and no one craps their pants. Maybe going forward this will lead to the FB app itself taking up less resources. The app has improved 10 fold over the past year an a half. IMHO the android app has surpassed its iOS counterpart and that’s impressive.

    Haters gonna hate….

    1. while i agree with you with the possible reason to separate the messenger app the only good thing about new fb app its the look, the elimination of recent news feed its not good to to me

    2. Finally someone sees the good in this move.

    3. The Facebook app itself has become a five-star app to me. That is something I never thought I would say. It doesn’t even drain my battery any more, which I always thought was a prerequisite.

  14. I’m in Europe and it’s been this way for a while here. The reason the uptake here has been so high is not because the additional app is great, but rather because it’s annoying using the native app now without it as you get that damn cartoon beaver popping up when you press on a message notification telling you you can’t view your messages without the app. I didn’t want an additional messenger app, I already have one. An extra one for just sending facebook messages is unecessary. I therefore took the other route and no longer use the native app for day-to-day use, but use the browser instead. Turns out I can do more in the browser version anyway. I’ve left the native app installed for the convenience of integration with contacts and media sharing, but were it not for that it would be long gone.

  15. I only use the mobile web app. The application is far too much of a battery drain to keep it on my phone. Plus I hate all the permissions it wants. If they take it off the mobile website, I’ll pretty much be done with it (for the second time).

  16. After extracting the Facebook messenger app for android I have come to a realization. Ladies and gentlemen.. THIS is why facebook is forcing smartphone users to use messenger instead of the app for messaging in the near future. This is why I love rooting / hacking my phone so I can disable and rebuild this invasive crap to my personal liking. There are also permissions that include reading your phone logs and even recording audio and using the camera without your authorization and even to snoop into other non-facebook related apps installed on your phone. Absolutely ridiculous. Thinking about telling this data mine to go suck it.

    1. While i’m never going to defend facebook and their permissions (deleting the main app was the best thing I did, and using Fast instead if needed), but basically these permissions appear in practically all major messaging apps, and no matter who makes an app any single one ‘could’ be used for bad things. Or ‘may’ be able to do something and so on. As for why the app wants location? Pretty obvious, so you can share it to people if you want to meet somewhere. Audio? cos the app has the ability to send video and audio clips so has to be able to record audio.

  17. Permissions I disabled and rebuilt (after signing in) were:

    *everything in regards to SMS*
    *everything in regards to location* (I don’t “check-in” and tell the world where i’m at, like an attention craving child)
    *everything in regards to exclusive devices such as exclusive htc.launcher, sony.ericson and Nokia permissions*

    ….and yes, it still works to send messages.

    in regards to facebook…well I use 2.2. Still can view my messages and less invasive permissions

  18. NEVER will install that app just to read my phone conversation hell with that. i hadn’t update FB since those stupid mandatory updates FB have to force u to use.

  19. No!! If I can blacklist apps then I’ll like the Pop up bubble. I hate it when I’m using GPS and that bubble pops up RIGHT over the Speedometer icon I have. LoL!!

    And I have this group that some friends comment in about League of Legends and when I’m caching up, if someone posts, it throws me to the bottom and I have to scroll back up. >,.,<

    I have to use the Facebook Messenger and not the standalone to use it correctly.

    Oh my gosh. I hope they make the app better. =.[


  20. Oh wow. So after reading the comments, I have a couple of screenshots to share. This feature is within the ROM I’m using on my M8, InsertCoin. As you can see, some of those intrusive permissions were never used. My app is updated and I’ve used it since forever. LoL!!

    That’s probably because I never used certain features that would require those permissions. It also means Facebook isn’t activating and using those permissions on their own.

    Where’s the distrust?

    I’m sure there’s going to be someone who’s going to say “well let them spy on you” even though I just posted they didn’t. LoL!!

  21. Facebook is giving us a very lame reason for us to use their messenger app. The regular facebook app works pretty fine for me in terms of sending and receiving messages. Why not make the whole app better instead of forcing us to use another app?

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