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Want to Message on Facebook? Soon You'll Need a Separate App

Facebook confirmed Wednesday that it plans to remove messaging capability from its mobile app, and offer the function only via the separate Facebook Messenger app.

Removing a major feature from one of the most popular apps in the world seems an extreme step, but the company made it very clear: "To continue sending messages on mobile, people will need to install the Messenger app," explained a Facebook spokesperson.

Image: A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica
DADO RUVIC / Reuters file

The move may delight some and disappoint others. The Messenger app certainly offers a better messaging experience, but it is also a separate app, with separate settings and a different interface. People who only occasionally use Facebook messaging may consider it an inconvenience to add yet another icon to their crowded screens.

"A handful of countries in Europe" are seeing the update already, but expect a few warnings on this side of the pond before the hammer drops. In the meantime, if you use the messaging function of the Facebook app a lot, now might be a good time to familiarize yourself with Messenger.