Previously, users could choose to chat via either the Facebook or Messenger app. But for a while now, iPhone and Android users have been notified that the messages interface is moving and prompted to download the Messenger app. And over the next few days, Facebook will stop allowing messaging through the Facebook app altogether.
The move was tested on users in Europe back in April of this year and after seeing positive increases in user engagement, Facebook have decided to roll out the change worldwide. One of the main findings to come out of the testing was that people replied on the Messenger app 20% as quickly as they did on the Facebook app.
Speaking about the change to TechCrunch, Facebook stated:
“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.”
Although the movement may be logical, it certainly won’t sit well with a lot of users. Many people might not want to bother with managing two different Facebook apps, or, managing another messaging app at all. Others might have enjoyed the in-app notifications for messages which allowed easy multi-tasking between feeds, profiles and messages on Facebook.
But Facebook claims that people send more messages, group messages, photos, videos and stickers when using the Messenger app and that this suggests a better user experience. And capitalising on providing the best mobile messaging experience available is the only way the network can keep up with the competition of other popular mobile messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat.
What are your thoughts about the change? Does it make perfect sense? Or, is this another example of Facebook changing what they like without regard to user preferences? Please share your comments below…