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Facebook wants everyone using its Messenger app by the summer

Facebook Messenger
Facebook wants everyone on the same app page.
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Facebook and Facebook Messenger have been going their separate ways as apps for quite some time now, though it's still possible to chat through a mobile browser if you don't want to install Messenger. Now that option is about to disappear too.

Users who are messaging through the mobile Facebook website are being told that "soon you'll only be able to view your messages from Messenger". The functionality is about to get cut from the mobile app just as it was cut from the original Facebook app.

That's not good news for people who can't or don't want to install Messenger on their phones for whatever reason. For Facebook, it's a way to drag everyone over to the Messenger app, now that one-to-one messaging is becoming more appealing than staring at a traditional news feed.

Chat's the way to do it

Messenger has its own home on desktop browsers which isn't going away but mobile users will be out of luck in a few weeks. When someone brings out a Windows 10 Mobile app, then you know they're really serious about dominating the market.

Soon the only alternative to the official Messenger apps will be Facebook Lite, which you won't be able to get if you're not in a select number of developing countries. Facebook Lite highlights another reason why people might want to eschew the Messenger app: its higher data usage, thanks to all those stickers and GIFs.

It's Facebook's platform, of course, so it can do whatever it wants with it - but it seems a shame to corral users in this way. There are plenty of alternative chatting apps out there if you think Facebook Messenger is becoming too bloated, though you might find that your next choice is also being run by Mark Zuckerberg.

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David Nield
David Nield

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.