If you are a mobile user of Facebook, (Android or iOS) you will already know that you are unable to send messages to your contacts unless you have the Facebook Messenger app downloaded – a step that was implemented in August 2014.
To avoid this, some users started accessing the site on their mobile via the phone browser which still had the chat facility built in, avoiding the need to download a separate app.
This option however is now being phased out and will require a download of the Facebook Messenger app – a move that has annoyed many users as they are concerned that this would be detrimental to the battery life and the privacy of the app.
Hostile Move by Facebook Messenger
Facebook said in a statement ‘Using the Messenger app is faster and enables richer interactions, We’re continuing to bring the best experiences we can to the 900 million people on Messenger’. However Devin Coldeway from Tech Crunch said it was ‘ a hostile move’ and that ‘the mobile site is much used by people who have good reason not to download the app’.
Next revenue growth
Analyst Martin Garner from CCS Insight told the BBC messaging is a key area for the company.
‘This move underlines what an important platform messaging for Facebook’.
‘Messaging is undoubtedly the next growth driver for revenue but it also will be key to developing highly sophisticated artificial intelligence solutions’.
‘People will get used to a dedicated messaging app despite their initial objections, Facebook just needs to make sure that the app is well-written and does not start becoming a big drain on battery life.’
The whole concept of being given no choice is a little concerning, one user said ‘I think I will move away from using Messenger to contact my friends in future. I don’t like the idea of having to download yet another app which will use up my phone memory. I wish that they would give us a choice.’