In 2014, Facebook spun off Messenger as a separate app, and no one knew why? Evidently, Facebook itself wasn’t quite sure what it was trying to accomplish.
In response to Bloomberg, Facebook is now bringing some of Messenger’s features to the Facebook app – namely, voice and video calling.
Chats and calls were originally part of Messenger, which was part of Facebook’s main app at the time. Since 2014, users had to download a separate app, Messenger, to access these features.
The feature is currently being tested in the U.S. and other markets. Connor Hayes, Messenger’s director of product management, told Bloomberg that the idea is to reduce the need to switch between the Facebook and Messenger apps.
These are not the only Messenger features Facebook is bringing back to its main app. According to Bloomberg, Facebook started testing a limited version of Messenger’s inbox in the Facebook main app. The company also started merging Messenger with Instagram’s direct messages back in September 2020.
According to Hayes, Facebook is starting to look at Messenger as a service rather than a standalone app. So, you might see Messenger features built into more and more Facebook products “over time,” said Hayes.
There could be another reason why Facebook is looking to integrate all of its products more tightly. In December 2020, the Federal Trade Commission alleged in a lawsuit that Facebook was a monopoly and that it should be broken up, reinstating Instagram and WhatsApp as separate companies. The complaint was dismissed in June 2021, but there’s a chance that the FTC can make the same case again in the future.