Facebook Is Forcing Users To Download Its Messenger App

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Facebook users can now only chat through the separate Messenger application on their mobile devices. What first started out as encouragement to use the app, and then pressuring, has now turned into a full-on mandate on direct message communications, according to a Monday report by the Guardian.

Facebook started interrupting users’ direct messaging operations a few years ago with a seemingly friendly suggestion to download the newest messaging technology. Facebook “built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes senses for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience,” according to an official statement made in 2014.

After Facebook’s attempts to deter people from using in-site messaging, many consumers merely switch platforms. The browser on mobile phones still had the original built-in chat features and this was a way to circumvent, or at least delay, the highly-pushed download.

Many people then had the choice to continue using the service they were used to. Now, Facebook is essentially forcing people to install the Messenger app, whether the users appreciate the new layout or not, or are unable to upgrade the latest version of their operating system.

For the majority of Android owners, a message stating “Your conversations are moving to Messenger” is displayed on the mobile device. Subsequently, the phone is immediately redirected to Google Play, the Android’s standard, built-in application manager, to download the Messenger app. Any attempts to revert back to Facebook to view prior conversations is seemingly prohibited.

“The Messenger team’s mission is to make Messenger the best place to communicate with all the people and business in the world,” according to a statement made January 7 by David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president of Messaging Products. “I’m happy to report that we’ve made a good step in that direction, and towards the end of 2015, we crossed the milestone of 800 million people using Messenger each month.”

Marcus attributes the huge influx of people to multiple factors, including “blazing fast” technology, updated emojis, and new location sharing functionality.

Writing for Tech Crunch, Devin Coldewey describes this “as quite a hostile move” since “the company is constantly repeating, mantra-like, that they want to connect the world.” Coldewey asks, “shouldn’t a diversity of access options be part of that?”.

Facebook has roughly 1.09 billion people log onto their site everyday. The world’s largest social network company is using their stature to create another powerful messaging platform to go along with WhatsApp, which was acquired in February of 2014.

Since Facebook started restricting access to chat through all other means, Messenger went from 200 million to 900 million users in just two years. This new technological directive will make those numbers rise. It appears that Facebook’s latest move is to further fortify their stronghold on direct messaging.

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