Facebook has decided that its users have to chat with each other via the stand alone Facebook Messenger app, rather than from the main application. TechCrunch reports that iOS and Android users will start to receive messages soon on their Facebook apps that chat options will soon be gone from the main app.
Facebook recently launched its Messenger app for Windows Phone.
The story quotes a recent statement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that offers an explanation on the change:
And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it 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.
The article says that iOS and Android users in Europe will start to receive in-app messages alerting them to the change today and that all iOS and Android users will eventually be forced to download Messenger to continue chatting with their friends.
The article does not state if these changes are coming to the Windows Phone or Windows 8 apps. Facebook did launch a Messenger app earlier this year for Windows Phone but Microsoft is currently in charge of developing the Facebook app for the OS; we have contacted Microsoft to see if Facebook's changes will affect the Windows Phone version.
Facebook shut down the stand alone Messenger app for Windows desktop users in March; the company would not comment to Neowin at the time if it planned to launch a stand alone Messenger app for Windows 8.1.
Update: The Verge reports that Windows Phone and tablet users will still be able to chat inside their main Facebook apps.
Source: TechCrunch | Image via Facebook