TechCrunch reports that Facebook will be removing chat from its standalone mobile apps in an effort to force people to use its Facebook Messenger application. If true, the move would be Facebook's latest aggressive play to take control of your messaging life.
According to the report, users in Europe have started getting the first of several notifications that they'll need to download Facebook Messenger to keep using chat. Eventually, all users will be migrated over.
Facebook knows that fast back and forth messaging is going to be increasingly important, and as CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pointed out in the past, having to fire up the main application just to chat introduces a lot of friction. Though we can't be 100 per cent sure, this almost definitely has nothing to do with Facebook's blockbuster What's App acquisition. Remember, Facebook didn't suddenly eliminate photos when it bought Instagram. What we know for sure is that it's ballsy move that's likely going to anger a lot of users.