Facebook's new Messenger app might not be the evil privacy destroyer some are claiming it is, but the app is still being forced on users whether they want it or not. Or is it? We've found two ways to keep using Facebook messaging on your phone without downloading Messenger, although both methods require a little bit of extra work on your part.
The first comes courtesy of the The Guardian and is a workaround which will probably be fixed in upcoming Facebook app updates. Keep that in mind before staking your future on this workaround. Here it is:
- When the Facebook app refuses to show you your message and instead shows you the "come on download Messenger" screen, simply tap the install Messenger button, then quickly jump over to the App Store and cancel the download. The next time you reopen the Facebook app, the normal messaging service will work again.
Of course that's a pain to do every time you restart your phone or whenever Facebook catches on and starts bugging you about the app again. If you don't feel like going through that process every time, there's only one other option available to you: the mobile browser.
- When visiting Facebook in Safari or your other web browser of choice, you are given the same functionality as using it on the web, only in a slightly more frustrating way. The mobile Facebook page's messaging option has an annoyingly small typing window that makes it difficult to write a message that's longer than a sentence or two. The lack of improvements in the Facebook mobile site seems purposeful; after all, why would the company fix issues that could annoy you into using its apps? It makes sense from a business standpoint even if it's not particularly user-friendly.
If you're putting off installing and using Messenger as long as possible, these are currently your two best options for getting around it. We look forward to seeing how Facebook "fixes" these loopholes. Maybe someday you'll fire up your mobile browser only to be met with the end of messaging within. We certainly hope that won't be the case.