Facebook is making a big change to its mobile app. Users will no longer be able to use it for sending messages. Until now, chatting in the mobile app has worked the save way as chatting from your PC. You tap the chat icon and type a message to a Facebook friend and when they reply, you receive a notification.

From now on, users who want to receive and send messages on their phone will need to download and install the Facebook Messenger app.  The Facebook Messenger app has been around for awhile and is known for its Chatheads – little bubbles with the faces of your friends that pop up when you have a new message. 

You can attach photos or a video to messages and also have group chats.

The company is very keen on the messaging market, they spent nearly $20 Billion dollars for WhatsApp. 

Facebook sees messaging as a growth opportunity in a slowing social media market. Even if you aren’t interested in sharing status updates or Instagramming your meals, you may still want to send private messages to people. Many people prefer a messaging app to paying for a text plan. If your phone is connected via WiFi, you can use Messenger and other messaging apps all you want without eating into a text or data plan.

Facebook lists more than one billion mobile users and says that 200 million of them use Messenger.  I’ve been using Messenger for awhile now and it won’t be too much of a change for me, though having to switch to messenger from the Facebook app if I want to respond to someone may prove to be a little annoying.

The move, as with all change, is bound to be unpopular with some users. My husband’s response when I told him about the change isn’t printable in a family newsletter.

You can find the Facebook Messenger app in the Google Play, Apple or Windows Phone app store, depending on your device.

~ Cynthia