When Facebook moved Messenger out of the main Facebook app, lots fumed. Now, it's basically been accepted as normal. But apparently, it's going to return home.
Facebook might be moving chats back into the main social app. The feature, which is currently in testing, would mean that users could use Facebook to access both social features and messaging plus other elements that exist in Messenger.
Software engineer Jane Manchun Wong was the first to bring the feature to light, and she's made similar discoveries in the past. The change uses the existing Messenger button in the main Facebook app, but instead of opening Messenger, it simply opens up a new "Chats" section.
Is Messenger Returning To The Facebook App?
Facebook first released Messenger as a standalone app in 2011 then removed it from the main app in 2014. Its return is surprising but perhaps makes plenty of sense — Facebook is reportedly unifying its messaging services. It's not clear what that means just yet, but some have speculated that the company will merge the messaging services of Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp into one.
Wong notes that this Chats section doesn't have all of Messenger's features, only some. While it may be used to send and receive messages, users will still need to open the standalone Messenger app to do a handful of other things, such as make calls, send photos, or send reactions to messages.
Unifying Messaging Services
Despite rumors of Facebook integrating messaging services, the company reportedly intends to keep individual apps to exist. Wong argues this also applies to Messenger, which means it will stick around to serve a different audience than the main Facebook app.
For now it's unclear when this Chats feature will make its way to the main Facebook app — or if. In any case, Facebook is clearly testing it. The interface seems to resemble the redesign Messenger received back in May 2018, which only became widely available earlier this year.
Facebook has commented on the feature as per The Verge, but it seems to be a boilerplate response.
"We are testing ways to improve the messaging experience for people within the Facebook app," a representative said. "Messenger remains a feature-rich, stand-alone messaging app with over a billion people using it monthly to connect with the people and businesses they care about most. We do not have any additional details to share at this time."