To keep sending and receiving messages on smartphones, users will be forced to install the standalone Facebook app Messenger
© Kai Pfaffenbach—Reuters
April 10, 2014 1:44 AM EDT

Facebook is about to eliminate the message feature of its mobile app, pushing its users to install the company’s standalone app Messenger instead, TechCrunch reports.

The company has begun sending out notifications to users in Europe saying that the message service will disappear from Facebook’s main mobile app for iOS and Android in about two weeks.

“We have built a fast and reliable messaging experience through Messenger and now it makes sense for us to focus all our energy and resources on that experience,” the company said in a statement Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Users in a handful of European countries, including England and France, will be the first users forced to download the Messenger app, but eventually users in all countries will see the message service in the main app disappear, spokesman Derick Mains said to Reuters.

Criticism of the move spread across tech blogs and Twitter after the plan was announced Wednesday.


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