Facebook and Messenger may backtrack on controversial unified app

Facebook messenger

Notable Twitter sleuth Jane Manchun Wong has uncovered evidence that Facebook is preparing to integrate Messenger into Facebook again, publishing screenshots that show chat functionality within the main Facebook app. 12 that tech blogger and researcher Jane Manchun Wong recently found that a "Chats" section had appeared within her main Facebook app, which echoes the way the service originally worked before Messenger was sealed off into an app of its own.

Since that time, Facebook acquired WhatsApp and is now preparing to integrate chat and messaging functions across the two services, as well as with Instagram. Wong still has to use the Messenger app to send photos, react to messages or make calls. This unification reportedly won't happen in full until the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020, but we might start to see the first signs of it with the next major Facebook app update.

Annoyed that you have to use two separate apps to browse Facebook and chat with your Facebook friends?

Facebook first released Messenger as a standalone app in 2011 then removed it from the main app in 2014. Now, nearly 5 years later, as Facebook prepares to integrate WhatsApp and Instagram into a singular platform, the feature seems to be making its return. That was before the company decoupled the services and over populated the Messenger app with a bunch of bloatware that no one used.

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Facebook could be building a challenge for itself - if users don't have to switch to Messenger, maybe Facebook is tasking itself to make the Messenger app more appealing, with new tools and features created to continue to draw users in.

Facebook has yet to comment.

In January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg ordered developers to rebuild the company's messaging services "at their most basic levels" so that they all work the same way.

"We are testing ways to improve the messaging experience for people within the Facebook app", a representative said. "We do not have any additional details to share at this time".

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