Facebook is becoming more focused than ever with its standalone app strategy. The social network has started notifying users that they’ll soon need to resort to using Facebook Messenger to send mobile messages as that functionality is being stripped from the main Facebook app for Android and iOS.
As TechCrunch points out, Facebook’s main app has always had a tab devoted to messaging. A few months ago, however, users that had both the main app and the standalone Facebook Messenger app noticed the messaging tab was replaced with a hotlink that would redirect users to the Messenger app.
This was pretty easy to get around – just uninstall Facebook Messenger and you could once again access the messaging feature in the main app. That workaround will soon no longer be an option.
The publication points out that some users in Europe are already getting notifications regarding the change. Users will reportedly have about two weeks to make the change and will receive multiple prompts until they download Messenger. Eventually, all Facebook users will forced to use Messenger for their Facebook chat needs – a move that will no doubt be less than desirable for some.
The shift in strategy shouldn’t be a surprise as CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed it was coming during an interview in November. He said the reason for the change is that they found that having messaging capabilities as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages. As such, he said they’d rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.