Many people chat to friends using Facebook’s app on their smartphone but they´ll soon have to download the social network’s partner app, Messenger, if they want to continue to chat.
Reportedly, Facebook is notifying users of its popular app that they won’t be able to send ‘chat’ messages and will have to swap to Messenger, which was launched three years ago.
The move comes in the wake of Facebook’s acquisition of another popular messaging app, WhatsApp, for a cool US$19billion.
The switchover to Messenger will start in Europe, but no timeline has yet been given. The first to be hit will be those with Android handsets and iPhones.
A Facebook spokesperson told CNN: “Messenger is a much faster and better experience and we’ve found that people get replies 20% faster on Messenger than on Facebook.
“Taking messages out of the Facebook app also lets us focus on making Messenger even better for everyone rather than working on two separate Facebook messaging experiences.”
Facebook is said to be taking a renewed interest in its messaging features following the WhatsApp takeover.
It has been reported that Facebook has no immediate plans to merge WhatsApp with Messenger but sceptics aren’t so sure and feel that this could well happen in the future.
Messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are becoming increasingly popular as a mainstream alternative to texting, particularly in places like Africa, India and South America where unlimited texts are not included in mobile phone contracts.