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Messaging instantly will disappear from Facebook on smartphones

Messaging instantly will disappear from Facebook on smartphones
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Messaging instantly will disappear from Facebook on smartphones

Facebook is about to undergo one of the most radical changes in its history. The inbuilt chat facility will close shortly on both the IOS and android platforms. Facebook users will need to download a separate app if they want to continue messaging. This may seem an unusual step as one of the previous advantages of Facebook has been that everything is contained within one site but it is perhaps more understandable when you consider the huge popularity of apps such as Snapchat and the recent Facebook acquisition Whatsapp. There are currently around 50 million Whatsapp users worldwide. Although Facebook has allowed Whatsapp to continue to operate on an independent basis, the trend towards instant messaging will have not escaped their notice.
In the short term Facebook will undoubtedly suffer a huge reduction in chat users as many will simply not bother to download the new app. In the longer term this could be seen as the start of their programme to bring the Facebook brand to the forefront of instant messaging by developing a better system. The Facebook Chat was perhaps always a secondary part of the main app. Even Mark Zuckerberg himself described it as a « second class thing. » The number of Facebook users is not increasing whereas instant messaging sites have seen huge growths in users and separating Chat into a standalone app may attract new users who perhaps would not want to use the other Facebook facilities. The short term loss in users may be outweighed by the long term benefits.
Many are wondering whether this will be just the first step for Facebook and whether other facilities will be separated and moved into separate apps. Eventually we may end up with a whole range of different Facebook apps as they continue to try and stay ahead of an ever increasingly competitive market. Mark Zuckerberg has always liked to be innovative and perhaps now he has simply recognised that the days of a social media app to cover all requirements may be over and it is time to move forward to a series of satellite apps all linked under the Facebook branding.