Facebook Messenger to be mandatory to send, receive chat messages

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Facebook on Wednesday announced that its mobile app users will now need to install a separate messaging app in order to send and receive chat messages.

Previously users could send messages from within the main app, but the feature will soon be discontinued, the company said.

The social networking giant began notifying users in a half-dozen European countries, including the U.K. and France, that in two weeks’ time, messaging feature in their mobile app would cease to operate in and that they will be prompted to download Messenger if they have not already. The company confirmed that this is not a test and in the near future will be rolled out worldwide.

According to Facebook, it is eliminating messaging from the main mobile application as it is slow and doesn’t deliver the best messaging experience.

The standalone Messenger app is faster than the messaging service that’s currently comes built into Facebook’s primary mobile app ,further users will be also be access more features in the Messenger app, such as the ability to make voice phone calls. The social giant’s latest move is intended to ensure that users have a consistent and high-quality experience.

“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 said in a statement.

The change is expected to hit Europe in the next one or two weeks.