Shutterstock/ Ponsulak


Downloading a separate app is now a requirement, not an option, in order to send and view Facebook messages on mobile.

The social network announced in April that users would soon need to download Messenger, the company’s standalone messaging app, in order to send private messages from their smartphones.

That time has come, as an initial wave of U.S. users learned on Wednesday. The flagship app will still alert users when they have an unread message in their inbox, but they won’t be able to act on it from their smartphone without the Messenger app.

Facebook first tested the idea of requiring two apps in Europe earlier this year, but the transition to U.S. users only began last week. Once a user opens messages within the flagship app, a seven-day grace period begins during which Facebook will remind and encourage users to download the other app (if they haven’t already done so). At the end of seven days, that user will be required to download Messenger in order to send and read private chats.

The move allows Facebook developers to focus more exclusively on features and improvements for each individual app. Of course, it also requires users to download another Facebook property onto their smartphones, a not-so-subtle way for the company to increase app downloads.

J Peters
J Peters

Another reason why I'm happy I made the switch to the new BlackBerry 10. The integrated Facebook messages (as well as emails, Whatsapp, BBM, texts, etc.) in the BlackBerry Hub is pure genius. Good riddance to iOS and so happy with BlackBerry's new smooth and powerful operating system.


I don't want to add another app, because it seems like an attempt by FB to take over our phones, after it failed to succeed in creating a FB phone. I'm tired of large companies trying to change a user experience I really enjoy on the iPhone. I am using FB in Safari and occasionally, Paper (which still has Messenger in it). There is a kind of corporate arrogance to large companies by which they don't understand that upsetting their users could actually cause them to have fewer users. If Re/code tried this, they'd disappear. FB could wake up one day and find themselves last year's phenomenon. 


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