According to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, Facebook is planning to return Messenger back to the main Facebook app. The feature, which is currently being tested internally by Facebook, will allow users to once again use a single app to access both their Facebook feeds and elements of the instant messaging service.
Facebook is bringing the Chats back to the app for preparing integrated messaging
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane)
As spotted by Wong, the upcoming change would use the existing Messenger button in the Facebook app, but will take you to a new “Chats” section instead of opening the separate Messenger app.
Furthermore, the Chats section currently only contains a limited selection of Messenger’s features. Although users can use it to send and receive messages, they still need to open the standalone Messenger app to make calls, send photos, or send message reactions.
It is believed that Facebook wants each service’s individual app to continue to exist, which is why the Messenger will be kept around even after the main Facebook app gets the new Chats feature.
Update: A Facebook spokesperson told iPhone in Canada the following statement regarding this story:
“We are testing ways to improve the messaging experience for people within the Facebook app. Messenger remains a feature-rich, stand-alone messaging app with over a billion people using it monthly to connect with the people and businesses they care about most. We do not have any additional details to share at this time.”