lifestyle

How to get around downloading the Facebook Messenger app.

If you have Facebook on your phone, and you have tried to check your messages recently, you will have been asked to download Facebook Messenger.

For some apparently irritating reason, Facebook has decided that users can no longer reply to their private messages using the Facebook app. Instead, Facebook-users are now being forced to download a totally separate app to see their messages.

As happens any time Facebook makes any changes to their online offerings, the world has lost its collective shit.

People are irritated because:

1. Partly, there have been concerns about the privacy settings on the Messenger app.

To download the app in the first place, you have to give it access to the majority of your smartphone’s features including photos and videos, audio recordings, location, wi-fi, calendar phone numbers, text messages and contacts. However, as some sites have pointed out, these permissions are very similar to the existing Facebook app – and also similar to other apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat and Instagram. It’s worth keeping in mind that Facebook Messenger can still collect and use your data for advertising purposes.

2. Mostly, people just don’t like having to learn new things.

So what actually makes the Facebook Messenger app different from the messaging service on the Facebook app? It is apparently faster, allows people to access a greater variety of ‘stickers’, has a ‘selfie cam’ (THANK GOD, don’t know how we all coped without that one), and it can also be used to message people on your contact list who are NOT Facebook users (that’s why the app wants access to your contacts).

To be honest, we can’t figure out why people are so bothered.

But if you you’re one of those people who would rather sleep on a bed of cactuses than  download the app, the good news is that there is a way to get around it and still use the messenger services.

According to TIME:

iPhone users will soon see a screen that compels them to download Messenger when they click the Messages tab. There’s no getting around this — you have to at least start downloading Messenger to send private missives to your friends. However, if you pause the download in the App Store, then return to Facebook, the old messaging interface will return. You can even give Messenger a test drive and delete it if you don’t like it. After that, Facebook won’t pester you to download the new app again.

Our tests showed that the test only worked with iPhones (sorry, Android owners). And since the shift to Messenger is part of Facebook’s broader strategy to both dominate the messaging space and unbundle the company’s different offerings into discrete apps, it’s likely it’ll close this loophole sooner rather than later.

But for now, you can show off your rebellious side by refusing to download a small social app — and you’ll save 35 megabytes of space to boot.

Hurrah!

Alternatively, you could always use the mobile-version of the website on your phone, instead of the app, as the regular ol’ version of Facebook still allows messaging.

Are you annoyed that you have to download a whole new app, just because Facebook has decided that you have to? Are you worried about the Facebook Messenger permissions on your phone?