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Facebook: We're stripping messaging from mobile site - and you're moving to Messenger

If you use Facebook's mobile site for chatting with friends, you can soon expect to be obliged to install the Messenger app.

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Facebook has started to tell users that chat is moving from its mobile site to Messenger.

Image: Facebook

Facebook is telling users of its mobile website that they'll need to install the Messenger app to see their messages.

TechCrunch reported that Facebook intends to cut off messages on its mobile site by this summer and has started to notify users that, "Your conversations are moving to Messenger."

For now, users can dismiss the notification but after the summer Facebook says Messenger will be the only way to view conversations.

The move is reminiscent of Facebook's removal of messages from its main mobile app in 2014, leaving users with the option of either installing the Messenger app or using its mobile site.

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This move cuts off the last remaining option to access Facebook conversations outside Messenger and comes at a time when Facebook is ploughing a huge amount of effort to prime its chat platform as the key vehicle to connect businesses with consumers.

As noted by Android Authority, on Android devices Facebook has already started nudging users on to the Messenger app. While the alert can be dismissed, tapping on any existing conversation opens the Messenger app install page on Google Play. Users can still navigate back to messages for now, but that option will end by summer.

Facebook hasn't rolled out the same notification to its mobile site on iOS yet, though presumably that will happen eventually.

Facebook told TechCrunch that it was pushing mobile users to install Messenger because it wants users to have the "best experience".

However, it's fairly clear what Facebook's other motivations might be, given recent signals that it will start running ads in Messenger, plus its other efforts at using chat bots to connect businesses with consumers.

While it is understandable that Facebook wants as many of its users as possible on Messenger, cutting off messages from the mobile site will do little to endear the social network to users, especially those whose devices aren't supported by the app.

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