Facebook Messaging Going Back to Main App?

In 2014, the Social Network Facebook had redirected its messaging platform completely to a separate messaging app, Facebook Messenger. It is being speculated that reintegrating of Facebook messaging back into the main application might soon happen.

Before 2014, Facebook messaging was a part of the main platform. When the messaging was turned off in the main app, users were forced to download the Messenger application if they wanted to use the feature to stay connected with their friends. The consequences of the move were bittersweet. While many users slammed Facebook and the app received widespread criticism, Facebook now has a messaging platform with over a billion active users.

The Resurgence of On-platform Facebook Messaging

It is common knowledge that Facebook is looking to integrate its messaging platforms in light of its eventual shift towards private messaging. The rollback to the pre-2014 approach could be a step in the move towards boosting private chats.

Popular code hacker Jane Manchun Wong identified a new test by Facebook in which messaging is renamed as Chats and the conversations happen on the main platform and not in the Messenger application. She notes that the Chats doesn’t include all the features of the Messenger application but users can interact with each other within messages without having to switch to a separate app.

According to Facebook (in a statement to The Verge):

“We are testing ways to improve the messaging experience for people within the Facebook app. Messenger remains a feature-rich, stand-alone messaging app with over a billion people using it monthly to connect with the people and businesses they care about most. We do not have any additional details to share at this time.”

This could be an interesting situation to deal with, from Facebook’s point of view. The on-platform messaging doesn’t have all the features of Messenger. In contrast, users can connect with each other within Chats not having to switch between apps. This can have some interesting implications:

  • Messenger use has been rising but by introducing this old approach users might go to the messenger for the extra features, resulting in declining usage.
  • At the same time, engagement on Facebook’s main platform has been declining but this move could bolster that in a big way.

The intended result of this maneuver one can speculate is to create a better balance between the engagement levels of the main platform and Messenger app. This will also change the time spent on each of the platforms, creating a new balance that improves their potential as ad platforms also. As of now, there is no official date announced for the rollout of this resurgent approach to Facebook Messaging

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Aseem Gupta

Aseem Gupta

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