Want to chat on Facebook mobile? You’ll have to download Messenger

Facebook has begun to notify users in Europe that, in two weeks time, they won't be able to send messages to friends through the social network's mobile app anymore.

To replace the messenger functionality in the Facebook app, the company is pushing its Messenger app for iOS and Android forward. Anyone attempting to use chat on Facebook will be switched directly to Messenger.

According to a Facebook spokesperson speaking to The Verge, the style change is not a beta test – it's happening.

At some point "in the near future" the change will occur to users in every country.

Related: 10 years on, is Facebook a dying social network?

There are a few exceptions, though. Low-end Android phones will be exempt from the new download due to memory constraints, while Windows Phone and tablet users will still see messages in their Facebook apps.

Although the move is designed to switch the chat function to the more streamlined Messenger app, it does require a second download. Some users may not be happy with having to find space for yet another add-on on their homescreen.

The proverbial carrot to the changeover's stick, however, is that with chat separated from the main app, new features can easily be added. The size of the original Facebook app may decrease, too.

"Once the process is complete, we expect the core apps to be faster," said the spokesperson.

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