Menlo Park, California–The Facebook Messenger app will now be the only way to chat through the social network as the site drops its chat feature to push users to the messaging application. Users will have to download the messaging app as the chat feature is turned off, though the icon will remain.
The company states it will initially roll-out the change in a small number of countries in Europe, and will only be available on the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and Android devices. The change will not apply to iPad.
Facebook Messenger App Faces Challenges
Though the company might be talking up the app, it will face some user obstacles. Chief among them is the need to download another application and the fact users still have their choice of other like apps. However, the social site wrote in a statement, “Taking messages out of the Facebook app lets us focus on making Messenger even better for everyone rather than working on two messaging experiences.”
Facebook has placed much focus on messaging since it acquired WhatsApp for a reported $16 billion in February of this year. In a keynote speech Mark Zuckerberg gave to the audience at the Mobile World Congress in February, he said his network and WhatsApp have the same goal, which is, “to help connect everyone in the world.”
Until the change is made sitewide and comes to the United States, users will still be able to chat with the current feature. The company recently released a new version of its Page Manager and made changes to improve its news feed.