BACK IN 2014, Facebook decided it wanted to take up more of your precious phone space by taking up two apps rather than one. While Messenger became its own standalone app in 2011, Facebook eventually stripped the functionality, forcing people to interact with those annoying chat bubbles that gradually filled up your home screen, multiplying like rabbits.
Well now, presumably ahead of the plans to tie in the various backends of Facebook's vast messaging empire, it looks like Messenger is returning to the mothership.
App researcher Jane Manchun Wong spotted Facebook testing the feature which takes you to a new "chats" section when you press the Messenger icon, rather than telling you to download yet another bloated app for your social fix.
So assuming this test proves successful, is there any need to keep two bits of Facebook bloat on your phone? Yeah, unfortunately. It appears that the chat functionality within the Facebook app will be pretty limited, only allowing you to send and reply to text-based messages. You won't be able to send GIFs, make calls, add reactions or send and receive money.
In essence, it sounds like it'll be a bit like the cut-down Messenger Lite, only built into Facebook. Although it could change over time to become just as bloated and overstuffed with features as the spin-off app in time. Keep the faith!
Still, for those of us who only begrudgingly use Messenger to make sure we don't miss anything urgent, this sounds like a good development. It may be an old feature, but it's one we're very keen to see returning as soon as possible. µ
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