The company has been applying a lot of man hours and internal resources into not only polishing and fine tuning the Messenger app, but also implementing, testing and experimenting with new features. This month’s introduction of free-of-charge VoIP calling has finally accelerated the product to the point where Facebook feels comfortable enough to remove chat from its main app, a move that will be rolling out over the next eight weeks.
Over the course of the next two months Facebook will be embarking on a process of pulling the chat capabilities from the main app. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and current CEO, briefly announced last year that this change would be coming in the near future in an effort to give users a more “focused” messaging experience. There’s also been clear indications from within the main Facebook app that changes were about to happen. For the last few months at least, the messaging interface within Facebook’s primary app has been tailored towards promoting the secondary Messenger app and trying to prompt users to get on board with it.
In an interview with TechCrunch last year, Zuckerberg opened up on the company’s decision to focus attention on Messenger, as well as his mission to conquer the world of mobile:
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.
We can see where The Zuck is coming from, but in all honesty having private communications directly through the primary Facebook app has never felt like a “second-class” thing. Sure, there was a time when the chat system was pretty poor and unreliable, but there was also a time when the whole Facebook experience on mobile was lackluster and entirely broken. The world’s largest social network has moved on significantly since those days to a point where messaging internally felt perfectly fine.
Still, it appears the decision has been made and Facebook have begun notifying users of the change. Best get downloading the official Messenger app if you wish to continue that private messaging stream.