We were warned of the impending separation back in April, when Facebook started urging users to make the switch on their own. European users had to make the switch at that time, and apparently Facebook liked what happened there.
That means it’s out of Americans’ hands now: Any iPhone or Android smartphone users will get a few reminders featuring an impatient cartoon otter whose adorability is ostensibly designed to make the forced migration less painful, but is also going to annoy the heck out of some people nonetheless. Because no one wants an otter telling them what to do (note: this might just be for iPhone users because I’m not seeing any otters that shouldn’t be there on my Android phone) .
Eventually, the otter/non-otter message will go away and you simply won’t be able to send messages from the main app.
Users will also get an email about the change soon, but for the time being, Facebook issued a statement to TechCrunch:
Facebook In the next few days, we’re continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they’ll need to download the Messenger app. As we’ve said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we’ll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people.
People using the Facebook apps for iOS and Android tablets, as well as all desktop versions, are safe for the time being.
So why force people to have two apps instead of one? Facebook says people using Messenger reply 20% faster, and that it’ll make both its apps better by not having to support two different versions of mobile chat. Instead, your phone just has to have room for two different apps from the same company. Thanks for nothing, otter.