Facebook app to ditch messaging; Messenger to take on exclusive role

April 10, 2014
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Like a module on a rocket ship, the Facebook Messenger app will soon detach from its mothership, the main Facebook app. As a result, messaging will no longer be possible in the Facebook app, and all messaging will be exclusively handled by the standalone Messenger.

Because of the change, users will eventually have to install the Messenger app if they want to continue swapping messages with Facebook friends.

Happening in two weeks

Currently, users can send and receive messages in both the main Facebook app itself and the standalone Messenger app. But, that will change in two weeks. The Verge reports that Facebook has been notifying users in some European countries of the eventual split.

A spokesperson from Facebook confirmed the move and told The Verge that the split is not a test and that it will be implemented worldwide.

Better app performance

On the downside, the separation means that Facebook users will soon be needing two separate apps, but on the upside, the split could enable Facebook to implement new features (e.g., free calling) or improve existing ones.

Aside from that, it can be an opportunity for app developers to optimize and streamline the main Facebook app, as well as the separate Messenger app, resulting in speed increase, lower memory usage, and leaner file size.

The spokesperson told The Verge, “Once the whole process is complete, we expect the core apps to be faster.”

Worldwide split, but not in all devices

While the split will be global, it will not be universal among devices. Low-end devices, which presumably will also have limited memory, are exempted from the split.

Tablet users and Windows Phone users will still be able to send and receive messages inside the main Facebook app. The messaging function will also remain — for now — in Facebook’s newly released news app, Paper (iOS only for now), although probably not for long.

Do you use the Facebook Messenger app for messaging?  Or do you still use the internal messaging feature in the main app?  What do you think of Facebook’s plan to completely strip the main app of its messaging functions and hand them over to the Messenger app?  Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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