For a site supposedly built around the idea of maintaining friendships, Facebook's doing an awfully good job of creating large numbers of enemies who seriously 'unlike' its current strategy.
This week saw the social site make a renewed push to get everyone to install its standalone Messenger app, a tool that pulls out the chat tab from the main Facebook mobile app and is compulsory if you want to continue using the service's private chat system.
The idea of having to install a separate app just to access the same features that have been cut from the full Facebook app has infuriated many users, especially people stuck on older phones with their onboard memory already pushed to bursting point.
It's either a cynical advertising space play, a delivering phone numbers and texts messages to the NSA play, or a sign that Facebook's set to do a MySpace by the end of 2014 and explode amid mass user fury.
Either way, plenty of people are (pretending to be) uninstalling the whole thing and (pretending to be) quitting Facebook itself in a massive sulk over the changes.
PC World commenter Jeannie Oden d'Hal has a surprisingly hardcore, and slightly paranoid, way around it all. She commented: "If you root your phone so that Facebook is not in the bloatware, then don't download either one. I use it straight from the website browser and delete my cache, history, data when I log out. The heavy battery use of the apps following me around like big brother and the slowdown of my phone was enough to justify this option."
The next response came from CoachLivi. She made the old, probably not true, claim that she'll be reverting to how things used to be in the olden days, saying: "I guess I'll be taking numbers and sending more text messages. I'm not downloading Messenger and I sure as hell refuse to upgrade Facebook. Haven't upgraded the app since October. The permissions required are beyond intrusive and are absolutely unnecessary."
Which gave CWags334 the opportunity to ZING in with: "'...beyond intrusive and are absolutely unnecessary?' Doesn't that accurately describe Facebook itself?"
On The Register, reader Nigel Whitfield questions if the average user will find anything positive about the change. He commented: "Sometimes it seems that the people creating these apps assume that everyone uses them in the way they do; that everyone has the latest devices with lots of storage space. With FourSquare/Swarm I honestly can't see the point for me; I don't give a toss where people are right now, because I'm not a 20-something valley geek who hangs out at just a few places with all my mates, which seems to be the point of the new app."
Meanwhile, reader SebWear86 published a short sci-fi story over on Cnet, describing how this move may bring about the end of Facebook altogether. He published his workings thus: "I install Messenger. I stop using FB stream because it's all babies and weddings. I delete FB stream. I keep using Messenger but realize my friends are on other chat systems (ie Snapchat which has way better privacy). I stop using and delete Messenger. I am out of the Facebook world. I am happy :)"
But one day you might convince someone to have a baby with you, then who are you going to show (spam) the photos of it to? Will you be printing them out and waving them at strangers in the street?
Reader RetroUltraModern is of the same mind, asking: "This is such a dumb move for Facebook. If Facebook users need to download another app for texting, they have a lot of choices. Why stick with FB Messenger when there are so many better apps out there?"
Because mum's only on Facebook and no one's really as popular and sociable as they pretend to be?
Chatters gonna chat
On Mashable, Anthony Fulginiti is finished with the social site. He raged: "I am officially done with Facebook. I will NOT be forced to use another application just the same that no one can force me to do anything else."
Lee Willoughby, on the other hand, thinks this is all just your usual flash-whinge that'll quickly blow over. He commented: "The only objection here seems to be 'I don't want two apps' is that it? Facebook Messenger is a brilliant messaging app. No one will delete their Facebook app -- this is the same reaction people have when Facebook make a profile change, a few weeks of moaning and then they just get on with it. Embrace the change."
Not wanting two apps is a valid moan when the actual Facebook app already takes up 150MB of space on your phone. Try squeezing that and anything else of any use on an old HTC Wildfire and see how happy the process makes you.
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