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Facebook might force you to install Messenger on Android

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 9:18PM EST
Facebook Messenger Android App
Image: Facebook

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One of the best thing you can do for your smartphone is to remove the Facebook app, and instead, use it in a browser. The advantages are multiple: it saves you storage space, it can save battery life, and it should prevent you from wasting precious time on Facebook when you shouldn’t be on Facebook. You can even remove the standalone Messenger app, and do all your Facebook chatting from the browser version of the app. But Facebook is about to make a major change to its mobile site, and potentially force you to install one extra app on your device.

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Fresh dialogue spotted on the mobile Facebook website suggests that Facebook wants to prevent you from using the Messenger section of its app in the browser. Instead, the company will push you to install the mobile Messenger app on your phone.

According to Android Police, the company might soon force mobile users to download the Android version of Messenger. Assuming that’s accurate, then it probably means that all mobile users who like the browser version better than the Facebook app will see similar treatment.

Facebook already made changes to its mobile website that force the user to download the Messenger app from the Google Play store. Going to the messages tab redirects automatically to the store. Going back means stumbling upon this message: “Soon you’ll only be able to view your messages from Messenger.”

That means Facebook won’t even let you view your messages on mobile. Tapping on a conversation is possible, but you won’t be able to access it. Instead, you’re redirected a second time to the Messenger Android app.

That might not be such a hassle for many Facebook users who have already installed the mobile Messenger app. But it’s still worth noting that Facebook is becoming more and more aggressive about its Messenger app.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.