Facebook has come up with a surprising decision by taking its standalone app strategy to a new extreme today. It has started to notify the users that they would no longer avail the option to send and receive messages in Facebook for iOS and Android, and will instead have to download Facebook Messenger to experience chat on mobile.
Facebook’s main apps have always included a full-featured messaging tab. The users who already had Facebook’s messenger app installed had the chat tab of their main apps replaced with a hotlink button that would open Messenger.
However, this was optional. Previously, if the users wanted to message inside Facebook for iOS or Android, downloading Messenger wasn’t necessary but it is set to change soon.
The notifications about this change will be rolled out to the users in Europe starting today, who will face multiple alerts directing them to download Facebook Messenger over a period of a couple of weeks. This is likely to cause some commotion in the Facebook users’ arena but the migration to the new Messenger app is sure to take place.
The migration will not be required for a low-end Android with an OS not compatible to run new Messenger. Facebook’s mobile website and its standalone content reader app Paper, are some of the ways to avoid the migration for those who consider it a hassle to get onto the Facebook Messenger as a way of compulsion.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook revealed that the need for a single chat interface was to bring a varied and focused experience. Facebook states that messaging within its main apps seems to be slow, buried, and sub-optimal and that is the reason for their new development. There would be users who would always prefer to manage just one chat interface. The messenger’s look is fresh, appealing and performance oriented.
From a business point of view, Facebook has taken a leap in messaging. Having acquired WhatsApp for a whooping $19 billion, it is yet to tackle standalone messaging portals like WeChat, Kik and Line. If the compulsory migration had not been there, people would have still stuck to old messaging formulas. Moving further, a lot of mixed reactions and flak is expected owing to this sudden announcement. However, slowly and gradually, once all of them are on the same page, Facebook Messaging should be a pleasant experience.