Today, Facebook announced that it would begin nudging users away from the latter option, and toward Messenger. "We have built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes sense for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience," the company says in a statement provided to Reuters.
Facebook did not provide a precise time frame, but eventually the social networking company will make Messenger mandatory for mobile chatting. At that point, the chat option will be entirely pulled from the core app.
So is this the right move? Well, over at Mashable, Lance Ulanoff takes a pretty strong stand. The whole thing, is a "terrible" idea, he writes, not only because the Messenger app is "sub-par," but because he believes it's going to be a pain switching back and forth between two apps.
"Don’t take this the wrong way, Facebook, but your home-grown app business is shaping up to be a huge fail. Haven’t you noticed how when you buy, it flies (Instagram) and when you build it fails (Home)?" Mr. Ulanoff writes, referencing the Android app Home, Facebook's mostly ignored phone software. "Messenger is, at least, familiar inside Facebook, but it really needs the whole environment around it to truly fly. Don’t clip its wings."
For the most part, Messenger has received positive marks since its launch three years ago.
"I personally like compartmentalizing certain aspects of social networking," Jill Duffy recently wrote in a review for PCMag, "so I like the idea of having instant messages and Facebook text messages in their own area, cordoned off from the more 'casual' and less immediate activities that I partake in on the network."