In an interesting, but not extremely surprising move, Facebook is beginning to notify users of the main iOS app that they will need to download Facebook Messenger to chat on their devices. The news was first reported by TechCrunch.
As most of you know, there is a full-featured chat functionality located in the current Facebook app, but that will soon change, according to the report:
Notifications about the change are going out to some users in Europe starting today, and they’ll have about two weeks and see multiple alerts before the requirement to download Messenger kicks in. Eventually, all Facebook users will get migrated to this new protocol. And you can bet some users are going to be angry.
That’s definitely disappointing news. I’ve got more than enough apps installed on my iOS devices, and I don’t really like to be required to install yet another one.
Facebook made waves back in February by purchasing WhatsApp Messenger for an astounding $19 billion. Requiring users to have a separate app installed can easily be seen as Facebook’s way of placing a higher priority on its messaging function.
According to the report, the only way iOS device users won’t need Messenger is to use Facebook’s mobile site or have the company’s new Paper app installed.