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Facebook forces separate chat app on mobile users

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Facebook will stop the messenger function within its iPhone and Android apps, pushing a new app for mobile users that want to chat. (Source: MGN Online) Facebook will stop the messenger function within its iPhone and Android apps, pushing a new app for mobile users that want to chat. (Source: MGN Online)

(RNN) - Android and iPhone users will need to download a new Facebook Messenger app if they want to chat with friends.

Facebook is removing messaging capability from its current iPhone and Android apps. The migration means mobile users will have to monitor two different Facebook apps, one for standard posts and one for direct messages.

Facebook has sent reminder notifications within the current app where users see their messages. Once users have the new app, there will a fast-switch function between the original Facebook app and Messenger.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook said, "... our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences."

Windows phone, mobile web, iPad and desktop users will still be able to message from their primary Facebook apps or through the website.

The Messenger app, according to TechCrunch, will allow recorded video sharing and a split-screen selfie button (Snapchat-style).

According to Facebook, users will be able to text friends using the free app, but mobile data rates and plans apply.

Around 200 million people actively use the current messenger app, according to TechCrunch, and 12 billion messages are sent per day on Facebook. More than 1 billion people use the Facebook app.

Rumors abound that Facebook is working on a way users will be able to send money via the new download. In June, the company hired away PayPal's president David Marcus to run the Messenger app.

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