Meta brings Messenger back to Facebook’s mobile app
Something to expect: Messaging from Facebook’s mobile app used to be one of the better features, but the company removed that feature almost nine years ago, turning Messenger into a separate app. For those who want a single app to browse feeds and chat with friends, Meta has good news: the two services are reuniting.
Meta announced in a post that Facebook has reached an all-time high of 2 billion daily active users. The post seems to be mostly aimed at reassuring people that “contrary to reports to the contrary, Facebook is not dead or dying, but is actually alive and thriving.”
Meta seems to think that news of the Messenger rollback is only worth a single sentence at the bottom of the post. It says that the ability to access the Messenger inbox from within Facebook is being tested and the testing will be expanded soon. We still don’t know if Messenger will be brought back to the mobile browser version of Facebook.
“Ultimately, we want to make it easy and convenient for people to connect and share with each other, whether in the Messenger app or directly within Facebook,” wrote Tom Alison, head of Facebook.
When Facebook (as it was then called) decided to separate Messenger from the main app in 2014, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that “our goal is to focus our development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible provide and avoid the confusing, separate Facebook mobile messaging experience.”
Messenger has been rumored to be returning to the Facebook app since 2019, when app researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted testing. Recently, there have been several reports of the feature being tested.
Alison writes that bringing Messenger back into the Facebook app “will make it easier for people to share what they’re discovering on Facebook, when, where and how it suits them, without having to switch to another app,” which sounds like like Meta. is making a change to compete with TikTok, which has a built-in messaging feature.
Many of Meta’s posts seem to be defensive about the news that Facebook has lost its crown as the #1 social media site and has a reputation as a platform for “oldies”. This is certainly true for teenagers, who prefer YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram over social networks, although the New York Times reports that many Gen Z Instagram users are unaware that their posts appear on Facebook.