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Facebook to Remove Chat Out of Main App, Forcing Users to Download Messenger

Android and iOS users, you are all about to get Zuck’d. Plans revealed today, show that Facebook is officially removing all chat-based messaging services out of the official application, opting instead to have the standalone Facebook Messenger app be the place to go for all messaging needs. 

According to Zuckerberg, who actually gave a reason as to why the company is moving in this direction, says that, “having it [Messenger] as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.”

In our words, he could be saying Facebook’s developers can’t figure out a way to make the two functions work well together, not that there is any actual friction between the two. Do you really need to completely remove messaging, a huge aspect of your website, to an entirely separate application?

To say that forcing users to download a separate app to check their Facebook messages is annoying would be an understatement. While Facebook Messenger does its job, and does it well thanks to Chat Heads, it’s the principle we are more concerned about.

The complete migration to Messenger is said to take place in the next couple of weeks, and users will begin seeing warnings and links to download Messenger on their devices.

Is this ridiculous or a good call by Facebook?

Via: TechCrunch
  • cornflahkes

    Two (semi) interesting points I saw today:
    this is because their app on iPhone just rapes the battery on it, constantly polling for data;
    the WP version is exempt (probably because MS builds it).


  • morpheus282

    Good move! Now I can ignore messages from Facebook until I feel like it and have a damn good excuse!

  • Stone Cold

    This matters little to me with the permissons they require now I login only through the web or mobile web.

  • MH

    I prefer messenger, so yay!

  • Nowai

    I wanna deny it access to my messages and contacts. Is that possible?

    • Stone Cold

      No there is not.

      • Nowai

        Weaksauce. No messenger for me then

        • Stone Cold

          Look at the permissions insanity

          • Nowai

            I’d like them to document exactly what they need those for, really. Way I see it, all they should need is access to the network to send/receive messages.

          • Stone Cold

            But for some reason people will still use the FB app

  • joejoe5709

    An obvious ploy to get us to download two apps, artificially boost traffic to their servers, and squeeze in more advertising. There’s no reason he couldn’t beef up messaging within the Facebook app itself. I have a hard enough time keeping the original Facebook app from sucking down data and battery life not to mention the extra space this will take up on our phone.

  • SpiderDice

    Sweet! So does this mean I don’t have to have people FB message me and receive it on my phone? Perfect.

  • Carlyle C. Wilson

    This makes no sense to remove the Facebook Chat out of Facebook and make it a stand alone app. Just up grade it and do what you do. This makes no sense whatsoever.

  • WalkerNA

    While I’d rather one a single ‘Facebook App’, I am glad I don’t have a single ‘Google App’ so I really can’t complain about this move. I have purposely NOT installed the Messenger app on my latest phone as it has been unnecessary. Like many others here, I rarely use FB messaging anyway. Yet I do use Hangouts daily.

  • JRomeo

    The time has finally arrived for me to stop using facebook messenger. The Hangouts app is already superior.

  • I dont think it will work for them if this news is true. The reason for this is that, the only source for income is advertisement and in messanger they won’t display advertisement. There are so many people on facebook who uses it for chating purpose only. So finally i dont think that they are doing it.

  • Let me get this straight – Facebook is going to annoy me with fewer notifications, so that I’ll have “incentive” to install their messenger app? Yeah, for me at least that’s not going to work out the way Facebook seems to intend.

  • honestly now that i think about it…if they actually made this app(messenger) like up to par with imessage and hangouts i thing id use it over anything…the chat heads are a really cool feature and i tried it and was fun for a while but wasnt perfect…now if they could make it flawless experience between texting and messeging group chats sending files run fluid and all that jazz…i prob would use it over hangouts

  • KleenDroid

    I have a Facebook account but I only log in about twice a year.

    I never could understand having to post a message about every single thing you do all day long.

    Same with Twitter.

    • joejoe5709

      So? Then this doesn’t apply to you. But even then, this is primarily about Facebook messaging not necessary the constant status updates that the addicts require. So was this comment just to bash Facebook and those who do use it regularly? Or did you not understand the different between messaging and status updates? Because it certainly doesn’t add to the conversation.

      • KleenDroid

        Sorry. I guess it was an error in judgment to post such nonsense. I know that anything Facebook related is very important to some.

  • ugh i dont really wanna have two apps installed…i had the fb messenger app installed but then wondered why when i had the in app messaging…why cant they make one app that does both….i mean if this means both with run lighter and function better i guess im all for it….but i gotta say…i couldnt be more sick and tired of the “i hate facebook” and “who cares blah blah i dont use facebook”…if you dont have facebook you either have no social life, your older, or your significant other wont let you..thats the bottom line so stop bragging about your age your fantastic relationship or your lack of a life

  • Nick Vargish

    I don’t use Facebook chat for a few reasons that I won’t go into here. I do use Facebook to keep up with my friends’ activities and amusing posts. So this move is perfect for me, I will continue to not install Facebook Messenger, and hopefully the main Facebook app will be just a little less bloated and bandwidth-hungry.

  • Bradley

    Just use Fast for Facebook and you will live in peace!

  • Fresh360

    So from the looks of it everyone just thought Facebook bought WhatsApp for shyts and giggles? OH. OK!

  • Emily

    Good, one more useless thing that I won’t have on my phone anymore.

  • Cheer Chunhao

    I actually love this move, the messenger app is so well polished compared to the Facebook app. Plus I never understand why they included the chat function in the Facebook app from the beginning

  • SamBoy

    Hey Facebook meet my old friend MySpace

  • Marcus Allen
  • Dean Cory

    Bad move!

  • Nate

    This sucks! The main app already takes up 50 MBs! The messenger app uses about the same. So on devices like my now for-fm-radio-use-only Droid 3 with limited RAM I won’t be able to chat/message within the main Facebook app anymore.

  • So, time again to revoke “auto-update” from Facebook app. Frankly, I keep FB on my phone only for the Check-In feature and occasional chats.

  • One Meat Ball

    If I have to use a separate app, it sure won’t be Facebook’s app! I’ll find something else to use.

  • BillySuede

    fine by me. already have both running.

  • Bob

    Stop whining. Just download the app.

  • g_what

    Ridiculous. I refuse.

  • antonio

    I’ll reply whenever I’m in a PC otherwise they will suck me, cause I’m not installing that NSA tracker bs in my Phone.

  • jb

    If you want to see how unimportant you are to the FB community, quietly deactivate your FB profile and wait and see how long it takes say… 10% of your “friends” to get in touch with you and ask where you’ve been. Once you reach 10%, you can reactivate your FB profile, and not before. Most people would never end up reactivating their accounts because they’d never hit 10%. Another large percentage would realize life is simply better without FB.

  • Leon Sakkal

    FB messenger used to kill my battery life and hog resources which eventually led me to uninstall it and only use the fb app for messaging purposes . If they can make a decent app that doesn’t hog battery in the background then I welcome this change considering messenger is a much better experience.

  • James Briano

    Not using either app.

  • joseph barrientos

    i don’t use facebook enough to even semi want this. I’ll stick to using chrome for it. But for those that need another messenger to worry about, go for it, i just know most people have 2 already as it is.

  • andrewstuart81

    Facebook should use whatsapp as its messenger from now onward because it will goo.gl/UWpIrG

  • lye

    The last time they did something like this is when they forced facebook emails on everyone. Did not work out well for them. Just start telling people to gchat you instead they’ll switch it back eventually.


    Why has DL not touched base in the article about permissions required for this app.


    I’m really into the car scene and use FB messaging A LOT when talking to members of numerous clubs. I’m not using the app that needs permission to access my texts, contacts, etc…

  • moew


    27 minutes later, there’s 27 new chat messages instantly about a meet 15 mins ago. I would like it to go away altogether, like it was a few years back.

  • droidrazredge

    I wonder who’s bright idea it was to go this route instead of incorporating the standalone apps feature into the actual Facebook app making that chat messenger more seamless. Now I have to worry about another 10 MB of application storage taking away from my limited internal storage just to message friends.

  • Mordecaidrake

    I get closer and closer to removing Facebook from my phone every day…

    • Stone Cold

      Built into my but still only long in through my browser.

  • cgalyon

    It’s almost surreal. Facebook really doesn’t “get it” with so many of their decisions (and evidently are still incompetent at programming a database search and sort by date query), yet they manage to stay right on the line of bothering people enough to leave their service. I think it just takes a *lot* to really get people to leave because people will feel like they’re abandoning many of their social contacts. The app sucks and has since its inception. They kept advertising to people that they could download the Messenger app separately, but evidently adoption was low. Rather than assuming/accepting that it’s because people don’t want it, they instead force it. People once more have two choices: abandon that functionality, or concede defeat to Facebook again. Personally, I’ll abandon that functionality (it’s just not that compelling).

  • Marcus Thomas

    It’s a shame that you all are stuck on Froyo so that having one extra app on your phone will be detrimental to its performance. Do yourselves a favor and uninstall Hangouts, too. The nerve of Google making you download a separate app just to send instant messages to all of your Google+ friends…

    Get… A… Life…

    I’m glad that they’re doing this. I very rarely use Facebook and I use the messenger even less, but I’d rather have the better experience of the messenger app rather than using the internal messenger of the Facebook app. And most of you hate Facebook anyway. Look, now you have an excuse to uninstall that from your phone.

    • Benjamin Mackie

      Have you used the messenger though? Its signifanclty clunkier, and updates a lot slower than just using the app directly

      • i gotta disagree with you there…i only unintalled it bc i didnt see a need for it…actually had a little fun for a while using it as my text app with the chat heads…if they actually made this app like up to par with imessage and hangouts i thing id use it over anything

        • Marcus Thomas

          I keep it around just on case someone who I don’t talk to regularly that won’t think to pull my phone number off my profile or who doesn’t use Hangouts wants to get a hold of me. Plus I keep Facebook greenified to save battery. It essentially just sits on my phone never being used, but it’s not like having an extra messenger on my phone is going to hurt.

          In the rare instance that I do get a Facebook messenger, I’d rather interact with it in the better standalone app. And chat heads is really cool! I keep it turned off, though, but that’s one idea that other apps and messengers should adopt for handling notifications.

      • Marcus Thomas

        Dude, have you even used the app? Clunky in what way? Because it sounds like you’re getting the in app Facebook messaging mixed up with the Facebook messenger.

        And the Facebook messenger is updated about as often as Hangouts is. These aren’t the kind of apps that need frequent updates. Plus, all those frequent updates to the Facebook app have nothing to do with updating its archaic in app messenger so that argument of yours is moot.

    • LSH99

      “I’d rather have the better experience of the messenger app rather than using the internal messenger of the Facebook app.”
      Yeah, you clearly don’t use the FB messenger app.
      And hangouts isn’t just for Google+– it is (or is about to become) the default Android messaging app. That said, it’s slow as hell and pretty much sucks, too.
      Been using the mobile FB site exclusively since well before the company had to force its developers to actually start paying attention to Android.

      • Marcus Thomas

        I very rarely use Facebook messenger, but, when I do, I prefer the standalone messenger. It’s a lot better than the in app messenger and only behind the in browser messenger. How do you figure the internal messenger of the Facebook app is better?

        And what what you’re saying is that it’s okay for Google to force their separate instant messaging app down people’s throats. I use Hangouts for messaging and IM, but a lot of people are perfectly happy using any number of SMS apps. My Facebook messenger to Google Hangouts argument is still valid because people are complaining about having to have the app installed separately while happily using Hangouts. Separately. The fact that it’s being forced onto people is irrelevant, but, if we must take that into account as well, that still paints Google as more of a bad guy than Facebook when it comes to forcing anyone to use a certain messenger.

        • LSH99

          First of all, I didn’t say that it’s “okay” for Google (or Facebook) to do or not do anything. I merely stated that Google Hangouts has replaced (or will soon replace) the default messaging app for android. I don’t see how they are “forcing” anything down anybody’s throats. You want a 3p app to text? Go get it.
          Second, I don’t know who these “people” who are supposedly complaining about having to install the separate messenger app “while happily using Hangouts” are that you are referring to, but you’re right– it is irrelevant. Believe it or not, I don’t get onto these sites to choose company sides like it’s some sporting event or a family war. I’m not calling anybody a “bad guy.” I’m saying that the Facebook apps are bad and that adding more is not likely to fix the problem. Oh yeah, and I also clearly stated that the Google Hangouts app is slow and bad.

    • this guy…this guy gets it

  • Jason Melling

    I’m mainly shocked that people still use Facebook.

  • Total crap. Not installing another app. I hate the new UI anyways might just totally uninstall all FB

  • fauxshizzl

    Next up they will make Facebook Home the standard app so users are forced to download yet another of their maligned apps that no one wants until they are forced.

  • Cael

    I disabled my Facebook app or uninstalled it whichever one.

  • funnyfarm299

    Tinfoil for facebook, people.

  • Nicolas Rocha

    Creo que es un error grande, forzar a instalar otra aplicación. Sus razones tendrán pero podría afectar a muchos usuarios no ávidos en tecnología y olviden instalar la nueva app.

    Si desean conversar mas acerca de tecnología lo pueden hacer aquí: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rochanicolas

  • 213ninja

    i use both separately already anyway, but it does seem lame that they can’t just have a single app that does both that affords you some toggles for messenger to turn it off/on and turn off/on chat heads…..

  • Icehunter

    I’ve used Trillian for years. Pretty happy

  • Mike Aurin

    Forcing us into a cleaner, smoother app with Chat Heads support. The horror! If you don’t use Facebook, don’t complain. This application is leaps and bounds better than the stand alone app.

    • fauxshizzl

      Neat, but I could chat just fine within the Facebook app. This is fixing a problem that doesn’t exist and pissing people off in the process.

      • LSH99

        And a lot of the complaints on here have to do with the actual facebook app itself–the mobile site has been more useful and less of a resource drain on the phone for as long as the app has existed. The main app has improved (slightly) over time, but there’s not a lot of reason to be optimistic about having to use ANOTHER facebook app. Messenger may be “leaps and bounds” better than the standalone app–the standalone app is astonishingly bad– but it’s still not likely to be better than the mobile site, unfortunately. Adding another app is adding to the problem.

  • Mauricio Sanchez

    Man, I’m surprised so many people are this angry, haha. I actually like the Facebook Messenger app, it’s way cleaner and smoother than the actual Facebook app ever was.

    • Charles Walker

      Agreed. The main app and the messenger serve two different purposes and splitting them seems logical.

      • Mauricio Sanchez

        Yeah, exactly. Considering all the new features implemented into the Messenger app, it makes a lot of sense.

    • D.B.Evans

      I agree; the messenger app is far better than attempting to us messaging in the FB app. This change will help reduce the redundant feature in the two apps, reducing memory usage by purging on of the pieces of the bloat in the main FB app.

    • KOBALT

      Seems legit app since you give them permissions to your account, contacts, texts, etc….. seriously… read the fine print brahhh

      • Stone Cold

        Right gives them the ability to write and send mail/messages

    • Marcus Thomas

      And everyone who is complaining uses Google+ with Hangouts on the side and don’t see how this is the same thing. In fact, weren’t we all happy when Google got rid of the integrated Google+ messaging in favor of Hangouts?

  • ravenofdoom

    Good riddance… I never use messenger service, nor do any of my friends. Anything to remove bloat, memory usage, etc. from their already terrible app can only serve to improve its performance.

    • Charles Walker

      Yes, I think the change is very good and will provide performance benefits and modularity. I don’t know why so many people seem to turn any Facebook change into a negative.

  • mcdonsco

    While I actually prefer Facebook messenger to in app chat I dont see why they have to be two separate apps?

    • Charles Walker

      Having two separate messaging apps is redundant and doesn’t make sense. I think it was a good move by Facebook because it gives users the option to install either the main app or only Messenger if they choose. This decision is certainly better than having two messaging apps.

      • mcdonsco

        I’ll buy that for a dollar…

  • blibbby

    i guesse i wont be updating the facebook app

    • Charles Walker

      You’re missing out. Messenger is a better messaging platform and this should lead to performance improvements in the main app.

  • Droid Ronin

    I actually only have the Messenger app since that is the only part of Facebook that I enjoy using.

  • Elmer Fudd

    Essentially Facebook is actively becoming more useless than it already is.

    • Charles Walker

      Facebook has not become not useless, but more modular with this change and I welcome it. Users now have the option to install only the messaging app or the main app. I like the idea of being able to use only the messenger without having to install the main app which is huge.

      • josuearisty

        I wish it wouldnt use all that ram memory. They are doing this because of their ego killing them, another app (they had to buy) is used more than their is.

      • UniBroW

        You’ve always been able to install the messenger app without the facebook app

      • d-rock

        That’s fine, but an all in one for people who prefer is still nice. Let the messenger app have all the features. Let me freaking receive and respond to a simple quick message from the main app too.

    • mildmanneredjanitor

      No, Android actually.

  • Menger40

    All the more reason to remove all Facebook related apps from your device and only access it from your browser (if you must)

    • Charles Walker

      That’s a pretty extreme stance. I have both installed with no problems.

    • michael arazan

      Just remove Facebook from your life, no worries, be happy

      • Marcus Thomas

        I don’t get why people who don’t even use Facebook always want to chime in on posts like that. “I DON’T LIKE FACEBOOK WAH WAH WAH!”

        It’s a bunch of whining baby geeks.

    • mildmanneredjanitor

      With respect, not a great messaging solution there!

  • Will this still ask me to invite my friends to download messenger? That pisses me off!

  • Intellectua1

    I had to resort back to fb because Google+ couldn’t bring me the news from several sources with comments like Facebook can..

  • Guest

    Thank god for the old apk version!!

  • Christian Trevor Clauss

    They should focus more on optimizing the cruddy app they call Facebook.

  • jdomann

    I actually like the Messenger app. All my friends use Facebook as their social site and some of them I chat with. I’m all for reducing the bloat of the main FB app anyways.

  • Intellectua1

    Facebook is forcing people to use their messenger app because they eventually plan to alsooffer free voice calls thru it. Facebook is trying to change the way the world communicates. Soon you won’t need a minute plan you’ll just need a data package. In other news the messenger app drives my lightflow app crazy

  • LionStone

    Yea!…wait, no… My FB app on my tablet has cobwebs on it and it’ll never make it onto my mobile phone again 🙂

  • TopXKiller

    Zuckerberg the killer of all great things

  • morgan boyle

    its just a step towards integrating WhatsApp? I agree that the in app messaging is a clunky experience. my concern is that it will be harder to reach all the people that dont download the app.

    • mildmanneredjanitor

      Wrong. Its because Android and iPhone cant handle the battery kill of the full App. Facebook bought Whatsapp for the brand and users.
      On Windows Phone push fb messaging in integrated into the OS hence why not being removed from the app.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    I hate that stupid messenger app…

  • d-rock

    I won’t download a messenger app for FB too. They aren’t THAT important to me. They can go zuck themselves.

  • SplashMTN

    IMO the messenger app is great. I never use FB chat within the app because I think it’s annoying.

  • dreadfulCore

    I don’t use the Facebook, or FB Messenger app. Despite that, I think this is a good idea. It is kind of ridiculous to have chat in a standalone app, and also in the FB app. This could allow FB to focus on the Messenger app and probably make it better for those who use it.

  • Kevin

    Just like Hangouts and Google+

    • Ian

      Hangouts is a little more universal

  • saimin

    If this makes the main FB app noticeably smaller (in terms of memory) and faster, then I’m for it. Splitting messaging into a separate app also creates an opportunity for 3rd party messaging apps, which is also good for consumers. Downside seems minimal to me.

    • cjohn4043

      The Messenger app itself is actually really fast and fluid on my Moto X. Sure, it might be annoying to some but I don’t care too much.

  • hyperbeatser

    very stupid imo

  • JrzDroid

    f&ck FB and F&ck Zuckerberg. The facebook app sucks anyway. If you really must have facebook, download Klyph

    • trixnkix637

      Klyph was good for a while but it lost its luster for me.

  • Maxim∑

    I’ll just simply stop using facebook. Fu** them

  • cadtek91

    I only install Messenger. I disable the chat in the main app anyways, if I need to install it.

  • The Narrator

    what’s next? A liking posts app?

  • Justin Foster

    I’ll continue using the mobile site then. Facebook is enough crapware by itself. Now they wanna use even more RAM and location tracking.

    • UniBroW

      I uninstalled the app awhile ago, using the website sucks just as bad as the app but it doesn’t constantly ping my location or need access to my contacts or any number of reasons to avoid the app in the first place.

  • chris125

    Good thing I don’t use Facebook and messaging within it that much. Still not going to get me to download Facebook messenger. But Facebook seems to constantly look for ways to irritate it’s users. How about fixing your crappy app before worrying about this

  • wtfsss



    Input Darth Vader here…NOOOOO!!

    • Franklin Ramsey

      Um, I think you mean Luke Skywalker.

      • JRUIV

        Technically, they both have scenes where they say it

        • Leia also says it, but not as forcefully. (runs in the family, lol)

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Only if you go with all the movies, not just the original 3!

  • Daniel

    UGH, this is frustrating as I don’t really care for Facebook Chat nearly enough to want to download and install a second app just for it. It was nice that, on the rare occasion that someone did message me on FB stupidly, I could view and reply from the FB app that I do already have. Just means I’m not going to be nearly as available on FB Chat anymore I guess.

    • Tiago Pestana

      Thank god for the old apk version!! I hate the new UI of the 8.0 builds and this is even worse!! i dont need two apps for using facebook…f***** y** facebook !!

    • mildmanneredjanitor

      The reason they have had to produce a light app is because the full app is a battery killer on both Android and iPhone, having to constantly poll for messaging.
      Its particularly bad on iPhone due to its poxy battery.
      Only Windows Phone supports Facebook properly. Push messaging is integrated into the OS.

  • Carlos Lopez

    I’d rather just not download The Facebook App at all