Last December, Facebook began prompting users of its flagship iOS application to download its Facebook Messenger app, and the social network also began prompting mobile users to encourage their friends who had not yet downloaded Messenger to do so. Soon, according to reports by TechCrunch and The Verge, Facebook mobile users who wish to chat will not have a choice, as messages will no longer be available in its iOS and Android flagship apps.
Both TechCrunch and The Verge reported that the option of chatting via Facebook’s flagship apps and not being required to download its separate Messenger app will be removed, with some users in Europe already receiving notifications to that effect.
According to TechCrunch, users will have about two weeks to download Messenger once they receive the notifications, and the change will eventually be rolled out to users.
And a Facebook spokesperson confirmed the move to The Verge, saying that it is not a test, and that it will happen globally, and adding that users of the social network’s Paper will still be able to message within that iPhone app.
The spokesperson also told The Verge that users with less advanced Android devices may be exempt from being forced to download Messenger, saying:
If you have a lower-end Android device with little memory, we will detect that and not make you download Messenger.
Users who access Facebook via its mobile site will also be able to message in that fashion, without having to download Messenger.
Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg stressed the creation of separate mobile apps during the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, and the social network has repeatedly updated Messenger for Android and iOS.
Readers: Do you think Facebook’s mobile users will balk at having to download separate apps in order to chat?