If you’re like me and you used Facebook’s chat feature only because you could use it from within Facebook itself, it might be time to look at potential alternatives to get a hold of those who you you kept in touch with through that particular avenue. Facebook is reportedly dumping the Chat feature within its app altogether, in effect forcing those who want to you Facebook chat to download and install the standalone Facebook Messenger app. This will apparently be non platform specific as it seems to be happening to both iOS and Android versions of the Facebook app. What’s the reason for the change?
According to Mark Zuckerberg, it’s to give users a more dedicated experience when wanting to chat with friends and family using Facebook’s messaging services. In the current state where chat is allowed through the Facebook app itself, Zuckerberg and the team at Facebook feel that having two separate ways to do the same thing has created a sort friction between message replies. There could be other reasons besides the main one listed but a lower overall number of users participating in messaging or chat through the actual Facebook app as opposed to Messenger seems like a fairly good reason to dump the chat feature. There wasn’t any mention of actual numbers when it comes to users for each side of the chat feature, but it’s obvious that Facebook sees the lower usage within Facebook and has decided that it’s redundant to have multiple apps that offer the same functionality.
Whether you use either/or, we have to look at this from both sides. While we’re not personally keen on being directed to use a separate app for a feature that was already available, if less people really are using chat within Facebook and user numbers continue to grow for Messenger, there really isn’t a point to having both. For now, you will be able to continue using chat within the Facebook app until the complete shutdown and removal of the feature takes place, which is scheduled to be in a couple weeks from now. Upon that time there will most likely be a Facebook update that will see the feature taken out of the app, and users will be re-directed to Messenger to get their chat fix.