UPDATED: Facebook to shutter messaging in flagship app, push for Messenger

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By Justin Lafferty

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Facebook has been prompting mobile users to invite their friends to download Messenger, but now it appears that soon there won’t be a choice.

Facebook has confirmed to Inside Facebook that Facebook has plans to remove the messaging feature from its flagship mobile app and force the use of Messenger if users want to send messages from their phone or tablet:

Today we are starting to notify people that messages are moving out of the Facebook app and over to the Messenger app. To continue sending messages on mobile, people will need to install the Messenger app.

The news was first reported by The Verge and TechCrunch.

TechCrunch notes that iOS and Android users will have — instead of a messaging notification box — a space on the screen to tap to launch Messenger. Notifications about this change are starting to reach European users today, with more users likely to see the news later. While reports note that messaging will be removed from the flagship app, it will remain in Paper for now.

Lower-end Android devices with memory restrictions will not have to download Messenger, according to The Verge.

Facebook is doing this in an effort to speed up its flagship app, it confirmed in a statement to The Verge:

Once the while process is complete, we expect the core apps to be faster.

Readers: What do you think about this?