July 29, 2014
Facebook is rolling out a significant change that affects users of both its main iOS client and its dedicated iOS app for messaging. As reported by TechCrunch, the social networking giant is set to disable messaging in Facebook for iOS and force users to exclusively use Facebook Messenger instead. Currently, you can chat with Facebook friends right on the Messages tab in the main Facebook app. Alternatively, you can download Messenger, whereupon the Messages tab becomes a shortcut to the standalone messaging app. But over the next few days, the Messages tab will be removed from the Facebook client, forcing you to use only the Messenger app for chatting — or downloading it first, of course, if you haven't installed it yet on your iOS device, as suggested by the screenshot above. Note that the change affects Facebook's app on iPhone only, and that the messaging setups on iPad, mobile Web, and other Facebook apps and sites remain the same. In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook explains the change:
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.Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad running iOS 7.0 or later, Facebook Messenger is available on the App Store for free. This Facebook Messenger migration is just the latest in a series of instances of popular social networking apps spinning off some of their features into separate apps, another recent example being Foursquare and its Swarm app for checkins. While the results of the Foursquare-Swarm migration have been less than stellar, the Facebook-Messenger separation looks to be a more reasonable approach, especially considering that Messenger does offer more features in a better experience than the Facebook app's Messages tab.
Foursquare Labs, Inc.
Swarm by Foursquare
Foursquare Labs, Inc.