In a surprise move, Meta has announced that it is currently testing the integration of Messenger into the Facebook app. This comes almost nine years after the company decided to separate Facebook’s instant messaging feature from its app, a decision that was met with significant backlash from users.
Tom Alison, a Facebook executive, revealed the news in a lengthy blog post, stating that the company is “testing the ability for users to access their Messenger inbox directly from the Facebook app, and we will be expanding this test to more users soon.”
The decision to reintegrate Messenger into the Facebook app comes as the social media giant struggles to compete with younger platforms like TikTok. Facebook’s user base has also been aging, and it lost users for the first time in its history last year.
Despite these challenges, Facebook is adamant that it is not dead, with Alison writing in the blog post that “Facebook is not dying, and it’s not going to die.” The company claims that users come to the platform for more than just connecting with friends and family, with many using it for entertainment and discovering what’s happening around them.
“Over the next few years, we will be exploring more ways to integrate messaging features into Facebook,” Alison added. “Ultimately, we want it to be easy and convenient for people to connect and share, whether it’s through the Messenger app or directly on Facebook.”
By reintegrating Messenger into the main Facebook app, Meta hopes to simplify the user experience and make it easier to share content with friends and family. This functionality already exists in competing platforms, such as TikTok, which includes an instant messaging feature within its mobile app.
Although Messenger is unlikely to disappear as a standalone app, Meta is undoubtedly hoping that bringing instant messaging back to the Facebook app will encourage users to return to its platform. Only time will tell if this strategy pays off.