Life is usually simpler with fewer apps, but Facebook doesn’t think so. If you tend to use Facebook chat within the Facebook mobile app, you’ll need a second app to continue chatting. While this doesn’t affect the website itself, the change may upset some users who don’t want to manage multiple apps just to chat with their friends.
When Will In-App Chat Be No More?
Facebook began announcing the change on April 9, 2014. Instead of viewing and sending messages within the Facebook app, you’ll need to download the dedicated Messenger app. Essentially, nothing will change except you’ll have to download two apps to use the social network.
The next time you open the Facebook app, you should be notified about the change and prompted to install Messenger. All existing messages will be available in the new app.
Facebook wants users to have a more focused experience. The company plans to break apart the mobile experience into separate stand alone apps. The idea is to provide better features and less convoluted apps. In short, Facebook has multiple apps available and they want you to use them.
Some users already prefer using Messenger for a cleaner, more streamlined experience. However, others prefer having all of Facebook within a single app.
Why Messenger And Not WhatsApp?
Earlier this year, Facebook bought the popular messaging app WhatsApp. So why not move chat to the app they just spent $19 billion on? Facebook believes the two apps are completely different. WhatsApp is more for texting while Messenger is designed for casual chatting.
How To Prepare?
While US users aren’t being forced to change just yet, it may be a good idea to go ahead and get used to Messenger before it becomes mandatory. After all, if you don’t like it, you can always use a different messaging app and ask all your friends to join you.
Messenger is available for free on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Be prepared for a different look and feel. Try it out for a few days before judging. In fact, you may actually like it better if you use Facebook mainly for chat instead of status updates and games.
Are There Any Benefits?
While Facebook doesn’t typically think about users too much when rolling out updates, there are a few benefits to this move. I prefer using a different platform for chatting since many of my contacts aren’t on Facebook. Plus, I hate the nagging chat notifications when all I really want to do is browse through my news feed.
The other main benefit is you don’t have to download Facebook if all you want to do is chat. If that’s more your style, you can skip Facebook and download Messenger instead.
While it’s likely to be a love/hate relationship as usual, there’s not much Facebook users can do about it. Whether it means downloading an extra app or just moving to a new social network altogether, you still have at least a little while to decide what you want to do.