It was inevitable and only a matter of time before Facebook would strong arm users into another change.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook added, “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.”
Put simply, Facebook will stop messages through their native app and will make it necessary for users to download their standalone messenger app. This change applies to all smartphone platforms i.e iOS, Android and Windows Phone. The recent update now means when you open messages to chat, the messenger app will open up instead now should you have it. Mobile Web, Paper, feature phone and Desktop versions are the only platforms not affected, for now.
While some see the move as a better way to streamline their services, others may not be as pleased to download another app to do something you could already do in the first one. The same case with Foursquare forcing users to download Swarm. Facebook however claims that there are over 200 million users on Messenger sending out 12 billion messages a day sending more photos than ever including group messages, videos, stickers and audio clips and clearly that’s a rationale for improving user experiences. The messenger app by itself is a clean interface that gets updated constantly and as it stands can now send videos across.
While this seems a good move from a business perspective, Facebook may find itself in the midst of a downward public opinion that hasn’t helped them recently.