Facebook disabling messaging in main mobile app, forcing users to install Messenger

It appears that folks using Facebook’s Messenger service will soon have to download the standalone app, or look at other messaging options. Over the next few days, the social network is going to disable messaging from its main iPhone and Android apps.

The move is an attempt to push users over to Facebook Messenger, which the company says will have several benefits. For one it will enable it to streamline the mobile chat experience, and two, Facebook says users respond faster when using Messenger…

TechCrunch has a statement from Facebook:

“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.” 

Up until now, Facebook users could send and receive messages to other users from both the main Facebook app and Facebook Messenger. Now all you will see are notifications in the main app, which you can tap on to send you to the standalone Messenger app.

Facebook has already done this in certain parts of Europe, and it says it’s seen positive results thus far. And while it might make sense for the company from an operations standpoint, it’ll be interesting to see what its notoriously-outspoken-userbase thinks.

If you haven’t already downloaded them, you can find the main Facebook app in the App Store for free, and the Facebook Messenger app here for free. Messenger was recently updated with iPad support, instant video, Big Likes, and other improvements.

WhatsApp reaches 500 Million users!

Whatsapp & Facebook

Popular IM service WhatsApp has reached the 500 million users milestone. And it’s not just the total number of users the service has but active users who use the service regularly.

This comes shortly after the company was acquired by Facebook, although WhatsApp had a healthy 450 million users at the time of acquisition. The majority of the growth comes from countries like Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia, with India alone having 48 million WhatsApp users.

Whatsapp

One of the reason the service is so popular in developing nations is sheer number of platforms the service is available on, which includes iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian and S40, unlike many other services that are only available on iOS and Android.

The service has remained unaltered since the Facebook acquisition and is expected to remain that way.