Meta buried the news in a post that’s supposed to reassure users that Facebook’s neither ‘dead nor dying.’
Messenger will soon reunite with the Facebook app. Buried in a blog post that attempts to reassure users that Facebook’s most definitely not dying, Meta officially announced that it’s conducting a test that adds Messenger back into the Facebook app. “You’ll see us expand this testing soon,” Facebook leader Tom Alison writes in the post.
Facebook and Messenger first split in 2014, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg stating at the time that having Messenger as a separate app allows for “a better experience.” Now, Meta’s reversing that change, and it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Last June, The Verge’s Alex Heath reported on Meta’s plans to finally bring Messenger back into Facebook, while social media consultant Matt Navarra also spotted Meta testing the feature last December.
As my colleague Alex pointed out last year, Facebook’s making the change to better compete with TikTok, which has the built-in messaging options that Facebook got rid of nearly a decade ago now. Meta doesn’t say how many people will start seeing the built-in inbox, though. I’m personally glad to hear that Meta’s putting Messenger back into Facebook, and I’ll be even happier when it brings it back to the mobile browser version of the platform.
In its announcement, Facebook also reiterated that it now has more users than ever before. “Contrary to reports otherwise, Facebook is not dead nor dying, but in fact alive and thriving with 2 billion daily active users,” Alison writes. “People are using Facebook for more than connecting with friends and family, but also to discover and engage around what is most important to them.”
It’s unclear how many of those “daily” Facebook users are those who inadvertently got roped into posting to the platform, however. A report from The New York Times reveals that many teens and young adults on Instagram didn’t realize they ticked off a box that gives Instagram permission to share their posts to Facebook when signing up to the platform. “It feels so sneaky,” one 28-year-old Instagram user tells the Times. “Is Facebook suffering so badly?”