Facebook users on iOS and Android will no longer be able to send messages later this week, unless they install the separate Messenger app.
More than one billion of the social network’s 1.32 billion monthly users log in using the mobile apps, and Facebook claims they reply to messages 20% quicker through the Messenger app than through the regular Facebook app.
The company said in a statement: “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.”
Starting later this week, those without the Messenger app will be asked to download and install it when trying to access their inbox on the regular app.
Users who already have the new app will be taken to it when trying to open their inbox in the Facebook app.
Those who access Facebook through the web browser of their smartphone or tablet will not be asked to install Messenger, and currently Windows Phone and BlackBerry users can continue using the app as normal.