Many Facebook mobile users received a prompt to download Messenger, Facebook's mobile texting app, in recent months, and soon Messenger will be users’ only option for texting within Facebook's mobile realm.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) will phase out the chat tab from its iOS and Android mobile apps, and it will make its standalone Messenger app its sole mobile messaging standard, Tech Crunch reported.
Facebook began notifying users of the upcoming change on Wednesday, and users in Europe will be the first affected by it. Once notified, users will have approximately two weeks before they will be required to download the Messenger app. All Facebook users will be automatically switched to the standalone messaging app, and the app's current chat tab will eventually be removed from the Facebook app entirely.
The company said it's removing the chat tab because it diminishes the browsing experience of the rest of the Facebook app. However, some pundits expect that many users won't be happy with the change, largely because it will require users who want to text within Facebook's mobile ecosystem to use and manage more than one Facebook app at a time. Many users prefer having the all of Facebook’s functionalities within one app.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, discussed the change in November.
“The other thing that we’re doing with Messenger is making it so once you have the standalone Messenger app, we are actually taking messaging out of the main Facebook app. And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.”