Facebook Disabling Messaging In Mobile Web App, Pushing Users To Messenger

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In the not too distant past, there were myriad ways of checking your Facebook messages. You could check on the actual desktop website, use the mobile app, log on to the mobile website, or try out their newfangled Messenger app. Fast forward to the even-less-distant past, and you may remember that Facebook decided to remove messaging from their mobile app, hoping that users might install Messenger. Turns out quite a few people didn’t want to do that, so many turned to the mobile website on their phones. Fast forward to the not-too-distant future, and that option will be gone as well. Facebook is reportedly disabling messaging on their mobile web app because they really want you to download and use Facebook Messenger instead.

Users of the web app will see the early stages of this process when they attempt to look at their messages today. They’ll be greeted first by a splash screen, pointing out their friends that are currently using Messenger. Next, Facebook will just go ahead and (at least on my phone) pop open Google Play directly to the Facebook Messenger app, likely hoping to catch users unaware. As of this time you can simply back out of Google Play and tap the “x” at the top of the splash screen to get at your messages on the mobile web site. Soon though, that screen will become permanent and users will be down to only two options to view their Facebook messages.

The following quote from TechCrunch highlights the disconnection between Facebook and what its users really want, and made me laugh far more than it probably should have:

The usual excuse, which I am expecting to receive at any moment from Facebook PR, whom I contacted for details, is that the company wants to provide the best possible experience in messaging, and the Messenger app is the platform on which they’ve chosen to provide it — so to avoid confusion they’re consolidating everyone there. (Update: that’s totally the statement I got, it even said “best experience”)

As they continue to point out, “Best Experience” really only refers to the best way for Facebook to monetize your messages. There isn’t a ton they can do if you’re checking messages in basic text on the mobile web, but crank up Messenger and you can send video, stickers, etc. There are even chatbots that Facebook can throw at you in various obvious — and other more sneaky — ways to make money from your chats.

Once the switch happens, users will be left with only the desktop website or Facebook Messenger to check their messages. Since it’s pretty clear that Facebook doesn’t really care what its users want, I’d imagine it will only be a matter of time until that option disappears as well.

Do you use Facebook Messenger? Or are you one of the holdouts that prefer the desktop site or mobile web? Tell us what you think in the comment section below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

  Source: TechCrunch
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