For at least the last year, rumor has had it that Facebook would soon require anyone who wished to message a friend through its official iPhone app to install a tertiary app, Facebook Messenger, instead.
Up until now, Facebook has held off on that threat. But as the social networking giant tries to spread its services across an entire ecosystem of apps, it looks like the House that Zuckerberg built might finally make good.
According to a new report from Techcrunch, Facebook will soon remove all messaging capabilities from the main Facebook apps.
As you probably know, you can currently message your Facebook friends on iOS through both the main app and Facebook Messenger, the social network’s dedicated messaging app.
However, do so too much, and it will try to redirect you to install the Messenger app. And if you have both apps installed, any Facebook Messages received will switch over to the Messages app to chat.
But Facebook doesn’t want to have to support messaging through two apps anymore. In a statement, Facebook said this:
“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.”
Keep in mind, Facebook recently purchased WhatApp. There’s a bigger game afoot than just Facebook Messages, but to become the next default messaging platform, proper. Like AIM though — which once was America Online Instant Messenger — Facebook needs to split off its messaging app from the rest of its service to do so.
We’ll see how that works. I don’t like being messaged through Facebook period, so I will never install a dedicated Message app. But I may well be in the minority. What about you?