“Today we are starting to notify people that messages are moving out of the Facebook app and over to the Messenger app,” Facebook said in a statement on the change. “To continue sending messages on mobile, people will need to install the Messenger app.”
As is usual with any unilateral change by Facebook, this will likely anger plenty of people. Facebook has been encouraging users to download Messenger for a while but it was never actually mandatory to do so before now. There are some sound reasons behind the change, including a 20 percent faster reply speed on Messenger, complaints about the complexity of using the Facebook app and the general rise of simple messaging apps. WhatsApp, one of the most popular simple messaging sites was recently purchased by Facebook for the staggering sum of $19 billion but clearly Facebook wants to encourage use of their home brand messaging service for now.
Facebook said it will be good for users because they will be able to devote more resources to Messenger rather than having some go to messaging on the Facebook app. They’ve already made some changes recently to make group messaging easier and have plans for more changes. If this follows the pattern of a lot of changes Facebook makes, this one will no doubt create a fierce but ultimately brief backlash before people move on.