According to a report from TechCrunch, Facebook is trying to get its users to use the standalone Facebook Messenger app for mobile chat.
The company is planning to remove all messaging capabilities from its main Facebook app. Currently, iOS users can chat through the message tab but that will shortly redirect users to download the Facebook Messenger app.
If a user currently has both Facebook and Facebook Messenger installed and the user receives a message, the main Facebook app will switch the user over to the Messenger app to chat.
The report notes that Facebook is making the change so that it does not have to support two different versions of Messenger. Facebook provided TechCrunch with this official statement:
“In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they’ll 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.”
Facebook has not forced iPhone users to switch to the standalone version of Messenger, however there have been some past reports of users who needed to download the messaging app to continue sending and receiving messages on iPhone. The company says it will give several notices before chat is completely removed from the main app.