Facebook to Kill Messaging Service From iOS And Android, Users Forced to Download 'Facebook Messenger App'

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By Pavithra Rathinavel | April 10, 2014 5:08 PM EST

Facebook has announced the company will no longer allow users to send and receive messages within its iOS and Android smartphone apps. Instead users will have to install a standalone messaging app called Facebook Messenger to chat on its mobile.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013.

The company has started notifying select European users that in a couple of weeks they will have to install the company's standalone messenger app to enjoy the messaging service. The company added it will soon begin the messenger roll-out worldwide.

This forcible move was aimed to ensure that users have a consistent experience across Facebook services. The standalone messenger app is faster than the messaging service that's currently fitted into Facebook's mobile app. Also, Facebook users get to see many new features in the messenger app. One striking feature is the ability to make voice calls.

The company said, "We have built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes sense for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience."

Also, this forcible move could be because Facebook thinks messaging within its primary app is slow, buried and suboptimal. The company feels having a standalone messenger would make the chatting experience more robust and effective.

Months back, users who had Facebook's standalone messenger app installed along with the primary Facebook app saw the "chat tab" of their primary app substituted with a "hotlink button" that was aimed at opening the stand-alone Messenger. This is an optional feature until today. So if the user wants the conversation to happen inside Facebook app for iOS or Android, the stand-along messenger should not be downloaded.  In couple of weeks that optional feature will be disabled. Instead of downloading the standalone messenger, this becomes mandatory for those who use the service, according to TechCrunch.

All the Facebook users will see a hotlink button at the bottom of their Facebook app that will open the standalone messenger when clicked. Facebook users can expect to see timely reminders to see the users to download the messenger app to enjoy uninterrupted messaging service.

Silver Lining

According to CNet, Android, Windows Phone and tablet users with particularly "less memory" and also with an OS too old to run the standalone messenger will be exempted at this point. Also, the company's news-focused redesign "Facebook Paper" is also exempted and will keep the in-app messaging intact. Also, users can use Facebook's mobile Web site instead of Facebook app to get exempted.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic / )
A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013.
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