Facebook turned 15 in 2019, the popular online social network also faced a series of privacy concerns which dented its image across the world. The company seems to be now renewing its focus on product development to enhance customer experience. In one such move, Facebook is planning to bring back its Messenger feature right back into the core mobile app.
Facebook removed the Messenger feature from its main app in 2014. The company was trying to create a unique differentiator to test the waters on how its standalone Messenger app would perform against rival chat apps. The number of downloads of the standalone app was no measure of its popularity as Facebook users were left with no option but to install the standalone Messenger app.
According to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong, the feature is being integrated into the main app now. Wong has uploaded a screenshot of newly integrated chat function into the main app. From the top right corner, the same Messenger icon takes you to a chat window within the app itself. In the current Facebook mobile app, tapping on the Messenger icon takes you to a standalone app.
Facebook is bringing the Chats back to the app for preparing integrated messaging Tip @Techmeme https://t.co/LABK7qrk0e
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) 1555043094000
The screenshots show the functionality of Facebook’s proposed redesign for the app. The company made this redesigned app available for all users earlier this year. This integration of Messenger within the Facebook core app will attract those users who do not want to download and user another app just to use the messaging feature on Facebook.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has indicated that all Facebook-owned services could get merged on to a unified platform. In the annual earning call, Zuckerberg had said, “The integration that we’re thinking about, we’re really early in thinking through this. There’s a lot more we need to figure out. I think it’s the direction we should be going with more things in the future”.
He had also added that tens of millions of Android users that use Messenger will be benefited from having end-to-end encryption. Although there is no official confirmation, this integration indicates Zuckerberg’s plan to merge Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp into a single service by 2020.