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Mobile Apps

Facebook wants all of you on Messenger -- now

The social network is telling mobile users they have no choice but to download Messenger if they want to chat with friends.

Users of Facebook's mobile website will soon have no choice to but use Messenger for chatting.

CNET

Facebook really, really wants everyone to use its Messenger app.

Once upon a time, chatting was built into Facebook. Then the social network created Messenger as a thing unto itself, with the iOS and Android versions of the Facebook app directing you to use or install Messenger if you wanted to chat. Now users of Facebook's mobile website are starting to find themselves in the same boat.

Try to launch a chat with someone via Facebook's mobile website, and Facebook initially tells you that your conversations are moving to Messenger and that "soon you'll only be able to view your messages from Messenger." You can still use Facebook's built-in messaging after those initial notices, but clearly that feature will soon become extinct.

Companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple sometimes split off key functions of their core apps into separate, standalone apps, with their own sets of features, which then become part of a larger ecosystem. That can be frustrating for some people because the change means they have to juggle even more apps.

A number of Facebook users are protesting the latest Messenger change, according to the folks at Mashable. Some don't like the idea of being forced to use a separate app. Others aren't happy about the permissions required by an app such as Messenger. They're apparently not swayed by the convenience of being able to quickly IM a Facebook friend without opening the entire Facebook app.

One Twitter user complained that "removing messaging from the facebook app's a big reason why I deleted and moved strictly to mobile. Won't be bullied to download Messenger."

Another said: "Looking at Facebook messenger app permissions: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.facebook.orca ... reckon thats enough permissions to take a full copy of your phone??"

"We've worked hard to make Messenger the best way to connect with the people you care about by adding features such as video calling, conversations with businesses, GIFs and much more," a Facebook spokeswoman said. "Using the Messenger app is faster; for instance this helps messages load about 20 percent faster and enables richer interactions."

But the reality is, you'll have to get used to Messenger because you won't have any choice but to use it.