Facebook is about to stop letting iPhone and Android users send messages using the flagship app, according to a TechCrunch report.
The change hasn’t been made yet, but this week Facebook will begin pushing users to download its Messenger app if they want to chat with their friends.
Facebook began the Messenger push in Europe and decided to go all-in after seeing positive results there.
The social media firm told Tech Crunch that users respond to messages 20% faster on Messenger than on the Facebook app itself.
These changes are limited to iPhone and Android phones, for now. Users will still be able to message each other using Facebook’s iPad app, for example.
Affected users will be prompted to download Messenger a few times before they’re simply unable to send messages on the Facebook app. Users will see a friendly-looking otter asking them to make the switch, a move designed to defuse annoyance that may arise from it.
Although Facebook did not publicize the push toward Messenger, they gave Business Insider the following statement:
In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they will need to download the Messenger app. As we’ve said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we’ll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.
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