Facebook is changing up the social media game with a bold move: completely removing the messaging component of the main Facebook app to encourage users to download Messenger, The Washington Post blog reported.
The change seems to be part of Facebook's play to offer a plethora of dominant and dynamic apps that are used in real time. The social network has been incorporating Twitter-like elements such as the famous hashtag and the "trending topics" recently added to users' News Feeds.
With the update, which has already started rolling out in Europe, tapping the messaging function on the main Facebook app will pull up Messenger.
Axing the regular mobile messaging component is part of Facebook's plan, but the shift could backfire among users who don't want to add still another app to their already busy smartphones, according to Mashable.
Facebook responded to the Mashable post, saying that more users have been drawn to Messenger and that they tend to receive replies faster with the separate app.
"In the few months following the launch of Messenger 3.0, the number of people using Messenger grew more than 70 percent and we've seen a large increase in the number of messages sent," Facebook said in a statement to Mashable.
The social network has taken into account that some phones may not have the capacity to manage the two apps, so lower-end Android devices won't have to download Messenger. The Verge reported that those using Windows-based phones and tablet devices will continue to see messages in the main Facebook app, while Paper will also retain messaging as usual.
The emphasis on Messenger could be a chance for Facebook and WhatsApp to work together. Facebook purchased the startup, which has a free messaging app used by 450 million people worldwide, for a record $16 billion earlier this year.