Facebook began notifying users of its mobile app Wednesday that it will soon disable the app's messaging feature.
The Menlo Park, Calif., tech giant is instructing users to download the Facebook Messenger app -- a distinct entity from its main app -- if they wish to continue messaging friends from their smartphones.
The Facebook Messenger app has been available for a number of years, and users who have both apps installed already can only message others through the separate app. But soon, all users will be forced to download the second app if they want to be able to message friends.
Facebook said its Messenger app is a faster and better experience than the messaging feature on its main app. The company also said that users get responses 20% quicker through the Messenger app than its main app.
The company said that separating the messaging feature from its main app will allow it to improve the performance of both by removing the need for two independent messaging systems.
The change will not happen immediately, and users will get several more warnings before the switchover is complete, the company said.
But already several users have complained about the announcement on Twitter. Many seem to be upset about the fact that they will be forced to keep separate apps for the same social network on their smartphones.
Refuse to install Facebook messenger. So annoying and unnecessary.— Su(zann)e McGarry (@lookoutsunshine) April 10, 2014
I don't want your dumb messenger, Facebook! JUST LET ME HAVE MY CHAT BUBBLES IN PEACE— Mo McBirney (@MotorMo) April 10, 2014
Hate how Facebook is forcing us to use the messenger app.— Scoliosis Awareness (@iestynsj) April 10, 2014
Super lame. I need another FB app like a hole in my head. Facebook will force you to download Messenger http://t.co/DroztFOpiI— Tyler Lund (@tylopoda) April 10, 2014