Mark Zuckerberg Explains Why Facebook Forced Everyone To Download A Separate Messaging App

Whether you were dragged, kicking and screaming into downloading Facebook’s standalone messaging app when the time came, went quietly or straight up refused to do it at all (take that, The Man!), no one was really quite sure why Facebook was so into the mandatory move. Until now [cue suspenseful music]…

Some people liked messaging in the main app, after all, and were ticked to have no choice. Mark Zuckerberg has finally explained the messaging despotism — it’s what all the cool kids were doing.

The Verge has a handy excerpt from a Q&A session The Zuck did yesterday, wherein he was asked why in the heck he made everyone give up messaging or march to the App Store/Google Play and download the new app.

Saying he’s “grateful for hard questions” because it “keeps us honest,” (as if people were really afraid of his reaction in asking the question?) Zuckerberg says it’s all to keep things easier and frictonless for the user.

Using one app? Friction. Using two apps for one social network? Somehow less friction (though more work to open up a second app after receiving a notification in one app, if you ask some people). Though The Zuck does make use of that term “friction” often, admitting that forcing people to download a separate app “required friction.”

Doesn’t everything?

Anyway, he goes on to point out that the Facebook app is supposed to be all about News Feed info, and that messaging was a side thing that’s been growing in importance. An app should only do one thing, Zuckerberg thinks.

It was inconvenient for these people super into messages, he says.

“Messaging was this behavior people were doing more and more. 10 billion messages are sent per day, but in order to get to it you had to wait for the app to load and go to a separate tab,” he explained, adding that they looked around and saw that other messaging apps that were popular were devoted strictly to messsaging.

“These apps that are fast and just focused on messaging. You’re probably messaging people 15 times per day. Having to go into an app and take a bunch of steps to get to messaging is a lot of friction.”

Too much friction. But hey, it’s over now, he says.

“Asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this [use case] well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience. We build for the whole community,” he says.

As for why Facebook forced the move, it was for the greater good.

“The reason is that what we’re trying to do is build a service that’s good for everyone. Because Messenger is faster and more focused, if you’re using it, you respond to messages faster, we’ve found. If your friends are slower to respond, we might not have been able to meet up,” he explains, as apparently he has no other mode of communication other than Facebook messages.

It’s all about you, whether you know what you want or not.

Mark Zuckerberg finally explains why he forced you to download the standalone Messenger app [The Verge]

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