Discussion about
johncolucci

August 29th 2014 1:43 pm

Facebook Messenger: Give in, or say goodbye



Last month, Facebook announced that users would need to download a separate Messenger app if they wanted to continue exchanging messages on their phone. (Our story: engt.co­/1mWcRv8)

The social media juggernaut says the goal is to make Messenger "the best mobile messaging experience possible," but for the most part, this shift has angered users who don't want to be forced into using yet another app. It currently has a 1.5-star rating in the iOS App Store accompanied by lots of negative comments throughout Twitter, ironically.

Facebook posted a statement this week primarily aimed to assuage concerns about the app's privacy rules and to reiterate why the company thinks this move is great. There's little hope that Facebook will reverse its decision and like many other changes, Facebook generally assumes users will acclimate eventually. (Facebook's statement: engt.co­/1u153xB)

My take? I'm not a fan of having to use multiple apps to use a single service (*cough* Foursquare), nor is there a real incentive to use it in my opinion. When it comes to communication, I like to streamline how I talk to people one-on-one and on my own time and terms: by email, text, or Twitter. So I've decided to part ways and not use Facebook's messaging feature on desktop or mobile.

What's your take? Have you switched over to the Messenger app or given up entirely? Or, are there options we're not thinking of, like third-party apps? Sound off below!

Update: Some folks have noticed a rather interesting irony, that we asked you to come off our post to the forums to voice your opinion, sort of like Facebook asking you to use a separate app. We didn't even think about that. Unfortunately, Engadget's comments and forums aren't integrated right now, but rest assured we're working on it. So, we're sorry about the confusion and welcome your feedback, anytime!

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87 replies
cazafka

Using the forums instead of comments, feels like I just got facebooked by engadget
11 like dislike
johncolucci

We've responded to this with an update above, that is kind of ironic, yes.
1 like dislike
Kangale

I came here to post the same thing. Irony much?
-1 like dislike
nealschoen

I assume they are making exactly thar point. What a waste of time.
-2 like dislike
Static418

I dropped it like a sack of hot rocks when they started not letting you see your messages without a separate dedicated app. Since the notification preview still actually shows you the messages, it doesn't make any sense to me why I should have to download a whole separate app to do anything with them or dismiss the notification. Whether it somehow makes more money to do it this way, or gathers more user info, or some brain-addled fool decided people would like it better, it doesn't really matter to me. Making things less convenient does not lead to happy customers.
8 like dislike
JonathanAlstad

Exactly.

If they can't give me a reason why it benefits me to take up more space on my phone and have two separate apps, then I know they did it for their own gain. It's a free app, so that's their prerogative, just like it's mine to decide I don't need FB messenger on my phone.
0 like dislike
MidahoX

If your phone can't handle an extra 13 MB, then you should get yourself a new phone. Cuz that phone is shitty...
-2 like dislike
paulkover

its not the space it is ocupying , its the ram that gets eaten by all these apps , because of there procesess that need to stay loaded in order to get your "notifications".Think of all the conected apps in your phone including all the google apps (all the google apps !).And now some braniac at facebook thinks your phone has some more processing power to waste .
1 like dislike
wowcoolinc

The idea he is getting at is like you downloading a ton of macrame owl apps on your phone, even though you don't do macrame, or have a death fear of owls. It would just be pointless. Not about worrying about the actual space on the phone.
-1 like dislike
countrclockwise

are you buying? sounds like you have bulk cash, can you buy me a new phone too pls?
-1 like dislike
Waltzon

I want FEWER apps, not more fragmentation of functionality. Messenger was working just fine for my purposes as an integrated feature of the app. All this does is push me to other devices or other apps. I have no desire or plans to install the Messenger app.
5 like dislike
jimv1983

The Messenger app puts more focus on sending messages and gives you faster access to the features. Sending messages from within the Facebook app was much harder.
0 like dislike
wowcoolinc

This literally makes zero sense. More focus on sending messages and faster access to features? by making you close the app down and open another entirely different app to get the same features is somehow faster? Not sure what you think was harder about the "one singular" app for facebook that has a big button with a chat bubble right at the top of every page.
1 like dislike
rvarg007

I don't mind it. I had Messenger since it was released for Android so it doesn't bother me. In the FB app i hit the messages icon and i see my conversations, I tap on them and I get the Chat heads. Easy peezy lemon squeezy.
5 like dislike
hephaestion

I just stopped messaging with Facebook. It was convenient to message while I was in the Facebook app, like on the website when I'm at home on my desktop computer. But now, on my mobile I would rather use SMS texting since that is built into the phone. It doesn't make sense to install yet another app to do what was already being done in one app. Besides, the Facebook Messenger is just another battery hog and the annoying popups... forget it, Facebook! Just NO.
4 like dislike
abeey

From a branding perspective, it was one bad move from Facebook. If you have facebook on your phone, you have to no matter what download and install this messenger app, or else the growing message notifications will make you go crazy.. it has definitely reduced the time I used to spend on facebook app.. its no more a one stop shop. now I need to visit messenger for messages and facebook for everything else.. too much work. :P
3 like dislike
jedijesse

too much work? you can open up Messenger directly from the Facebook app, in fact, it's the same button you already had to tap to get to the Messages...so it's just as much work to get to the messages...
-2 like dislike
dusandz

I wasn't too happy about it, but I knew that Facebook wouldn't really care about a rebellious user in Eastern Europe who refuses to install it. So, I decided to give it a go.
Install - done - Hello, can I use Push notifications - no. - OK...
Well, that didn't hurt too much.
Moments later, I see new message indicator in FB app, I switch to Messenger...
"Hello, you didn't enable push notifications, please enable them" - No! - Ok.
Well, that's weird, I thought I already declined that, let's try focusing the app again
"Hello, you didn't enable push notifications"... Ummm, no means no, I simply don't want chat notifications on my phone. Let's see who's smarter.
Focus on Messenger again - "Hello, you didn't enable push notifications... " -Ok, enable them -Hi, this is IOS, do you want to enable notifications for Messenger? -No -Ok.
Got you, sucker!
Let's focus Messenger again.
Oh, great…
Now, I've got a full-screen explanation, drawing me a picture on how to enable push notifications in IOS. Ok, let's turn the damn thing on and disable the notifications in the app.

Oh, there are two options:
- I can disable my notifications for an hour or
- I can disable my notifications until 8am tomorrow

I chose the option #3, to uninstall the spammy piece of crap.

I went to mobile FB site in my browser, tapped on my inbox, and placed the bookmark to that page on my launcher, riiiight on the place the late Messenger used to be. Works like a charm and guess what - no DINGGGGGG! sounds!
3 like dislike
Genevieve13

This was exactly my experience. It made the app almost impossible to use and not worth my time.
1 like dislike
abeey

You are super funny. Loved your post! :) Hate FB messenger too.
0 like dislike
jimv1983

What is the point of having a messenger app(of any kind) if you don't get a notification when you get a message?
-1 like dislike
Genevieve13

The point is being able to message friends, even those you have only a casual relationship with, when you want to- not to be bothered with notifications constantly and in the middle of the work day, when you're trying to sleep, etc.

I want to hear when my partner or family calls or texts. Or work. But my facebook messages? I deal with those on my own time and when I feel like it. I have no desire to be bugged by it when I'm not in the mood to talk.
1 like dislike

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dusandz

My thoughts on this are exactly the same. I guess we don't fit into Facebook's target demographics
0 like dislike
sdmestayer

Facebook's real reason to get people to switch to Messenger is a bit more sneaky. It may or may not be a better messaging experience, but that's just the Trojan Horse. The real reason is that Facebook is using it's Social Network dominance to try to get enough Messengers on enough phones to give it a shot to become effectively the replacement for standard SMS messaging. iMessage did it successfully on the iPhone because Apple controls it's own ecosystem. Google's failure to turn Hangouts into it's own iMessage default application on all Android Phones has given Facebook an opportunity with Messenger to dominate text messaging the way it dominates Social Networking. To do that they have to get every FB user to download a separate program.
3 like dislike
nealschoen

And don't forget the ad revenue! I haven't been ducked into the Facebook voted yet because of their patronizing attitude which leaves me with a question. Did Facebook do a survey and ask if you guys were unhappy with messaging on their platform?
0 like dislike
TgD

Honestly, I am fine with it being a separate app. Ill save my anger for something that deserves it.
2 like dislike
antifanboyz

Whole Lotta griping over such a minor thing, in my opinion. Ironically, I rarely used Facebook's messaging capability before, but with the change I use it a lot more now. Seems like a strange strategy, but it gained them a more frequent user here. I have plenty of space on my phone and the integration is seamless. I like it.
2 like dislike
frankspin

I actually don't mind having the app be dedicated. Facebook has done a decent job in making the process feel smooth if you're in the main app and need to go to the messenger app (unlike Foursquare).
1 like dislike
johncolucci

I'll agree on Foursquare, while a separate goal than Facebook, it's a bizarre split and strategy. I legitimately gave "new" Foursquare a try on a recent work trip to find lunch spots and it wasn't as easy as Yelp (though I'm not a huge fan of their business practices, either). I do, however, continue to use Swarm as if it was Foursquare, but deleted 4sq from my phone for good.
1 like dislike
unrealmp3

Nope, most of my friends have an Android device, and we're using Hangouts to talk to eachothers.

Anyway, I'm not sure if it's already done, but I think Google planned to decouple Hangouts from Google+, so that would be one less roadblock for adoption.

Other than that, I would consider Telegram as an alternative.
1 like dislike
stephend

Not on my phone. I just added a shortcut to m.facebook.com/messages on my mobile browser - but for emergencies only now. I just use Facebook messenger less. Hope they planned for that result.
1 like dislike
sonofalink

Eh. I installed it. Why not? I don't go into it unless someone sends me a FB message, but it's there in case someone does.
1 like dislike
SoyGreen

Yeah - I kept facebook on my phone - because I participate in a few groups that are on there. I will not put on messenger... absolute stupidity that I have to have 2 apps. (I have plenty of room on my phone - it's just mostly out of principle...) And if Facebook ever makes a Groups app - I'll just end up removing facebook from my phone completely. As facebook pulls this crap it just helps remind me how much less I actually use them.
1 like dislike
Jonathan7

I have IM+ messenger instead since 2008. This one allows to chat simultaneously on Facebook and many others for free and works great on both my iPhone and iPad!
1 like dislike
WesleyDaNomad

The last thing I want on my phone is THREE apps in the place of just ONE a few months ago. the FB app was tolerable - though a resource hog - when it had FB, Pages Manager, and Messaging in one app. Then Pages Manager Split off and now Messenger.

FB needs to dogfood their employees like they used to... One company. One app. I removed all FB apps and will just use mobile Chrome on my phone and check in once or twice a day. I now have much more free time.

If FB brings back a single app, I MIGHT come back.
1 like dislike
jimv1983

Facebook gave the following explanation for why they split the messages into a different app:
“the other thing that we’re doing with Messenger is making it so once you have the standalone Messenger app, we are actually taking messaging out of the main Facebook app. And the reason why we’re doing that is we found that having it as a second-class thing inside the Facebook app makes it so there’s more friction to replying to messages, so we would rather have people be using a more focused experience for that.”

I think it really makes sense and I like how much faster I can start or reply to a conversation.

As for people complaining about the permissions it's just people who don't understand how mobile apps work. If you want to take a picture from the Messenger app you have to give the app access to the camera. If you want to make a voice call from the Messenger app you have to give the app access to the microphone. This doesn't mean Facebook is listening to and watching everything you do.
1 like dislike
wowcoolinc

The thing is, some people for whatever reason still not explained by anyone, are all for the app but never give even one reason why. The same goes for the explanation you just posted from Facebook, "...so there's more friction to replying to messages" which means nothing. There is literally no reason to download it at all in any way. It doesn't offer anything that the original app didn't already and it doesn't "cause less friction" whatever that means.
I might be all for the app if someone including facebook themselves even gave one reason to download it. So far you have to have a separate app for something that was already implemented nicely into the original app. Even testing it on the girlfriend's phone shows zero difference in speed minus the fact of opening a seperate app so that takes a little longer now.
Sell me on the app please because I, like many others, are confused on anything to gain here.
0 like dislike
komrad

It has landscape mode on the iPhone which makes typing a lot easier for me . That's why I've always used the separate messaging app since they removed landscape from the main Facebook app. I thinks it happened around version 4 around 3 yrs ago.
0 like dislike
bellorusso

Negative outcome. Facebook lost me on mobile. I only message with Fb while I am on pc. Since Facebook blocked normal way messaging, on a phone I use other ways to communicate - sms, viber, email etc. Facebook needs to go to hell with separate apps.
1 like dislike
jimv1983

When you open one of your other messaging apps it goes directly to messaging so you can start to message faster and easier. When Facebook tries to do the same thing you get all upset. That makes no sense.
0 like dislike
panzerfan

I wish that I can just one single messenger that could handle it all... really don't like this sort of segmentation!
1 like dislike
Met

I've been using the Messenger app since before the enforcement because it was better than the built-in messaging.
1 like dislike
onlineaddy

I stopped auto updating my apps just so I can continue using the old version of FB with the integrated messaging. I'll stick with this old version as long as I can.
1 like dislike
kkaul

I actually parted ways as well.
I do use facebook to chat but the permissions and integration with a phone that facebook enforces don't sit too well.
The syncing of contacts lists, and facebook's access to messages, calls and contacts is a bit alarming and unnecessary.
If anything, this will probably lead to me slowing down use of facebook because I won't be accessing it via my phone, and using other alternatives.
0 like dislike
jimv1983

So what if you are chatting with someone on the Messenger app and you want to call them? The Messenger app allows you to initiate the call from within the app. If the app didn't have access to make calls then you would have to exit the messenger app, go to your contacts app, search for that contact and then finally start the call.
0 like dislike
FrostByte

I didn't use it previously, but I finally broke down and installed it.
I'm not thrilled with it, and if they roll it back in, I'll likely uninstall the separate app.

I use it very little and tend to communicate more through Hangouts or SMS, but on the occasions when I did get a FB message, it was a pain either going into the mobile browser version, or getting to a computer.

I did try to nerf it the best I could, however. I do not have it log me into chat, and I set up a few other options so I only get dumped into the app when I need to.
0 like dislike
andputt

I was pretty upset that they were requiring a separate app. I had to download it and did so. But it was a perfect moment for me to delete my Facebook application from my phone (which BTW, was not an easy task as you can't simply delete FB from Android 4.4.1 like you do with other apps). Now, if someone sends me a message on Messenger, I get the notification (sometimes...) and I no longer waste my time opening up Facebook. Bad for the company, but great for me!
0 like dislike
jessieryder

I actually parted ways with Facebook when their Android app began requiring access to your SMS messages (for some poorly explained reasons). Since then, I've been using the mobile web app only and don't plan on downloading the messenger or Facebook app.
0 like dislike
jimv1983

The web app sucks compared to the native mobile app.
-1 like dislike
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