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Using Facebook on your smartphone is about to get much more annoying

Published Jul 29th, 2014 8:15AM EDT
Facebook Messenger iOS Android

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Facebook may want to look up the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” TechCrunch reports that Facebook plans to take away the messaging feature from its core app and force users to download the separate Facebook Messenger app if they want to chat with their friends. Facebook has apparently been testing out using Messenger as its sole messaging app in Europe and has been encouraged by the results so far, TechCrunch says.

TechCrunch says that the good news is that “mobile web, iPad, feature phone, Windows Phone, Paper, and desktop users can still message in their main Facebook apps or sites” for the time being and won’t be forced to use a separate app. WhatsApp users should also be happy with the move because if Facebook has enough confidence in its own messaging app, it won’t need to encroach into WhatsApp’s territory by integrating itself more tightly into the platform.

Facebook has apparently decided to do this because people who use the Messenger app reply around 20% faster than people who use the main Facebook app. The company also thinks that it can make its mothership app better by not having to worry about supporting instant messaging on it.

Facebook has already started notifying iOS and Android users about the change, so don’t be surprised to see an unexpected notification the next time you try to message friends via your Facebook app.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.