Facebook is testing the integration of Messenger features back into its main app, seven years after removing them.
According to a Bloomberg report, Facebook is testing the integration of Messenger communication features into its main app, with some users claiming they have already been given the ability to place voice or video calls from the Facebook app.
Messenger’s director of product management, Connor Hayes, explained that the tested integration is supposed to reduce the need to switch between apps and bring functionality under the same roof.
Back in 2014, Facebook separated Messenger from its main app, forcing users to download a separate app in order to send PMs from their mobile devices.
Since then, Facebook has attempted changes in the internal communication functionality and the way it interacts with all of Facebook’s apps and services. It conducted a similar integration effort last fall, for example, when it started testing a limited version of Messenger’s inbox in the core Facebook app.
According to Hayes, Facebook sees Messenger as a service rather than a stand-alone app, and as such, it should allow users to use the technology alongside other things – i.e. making a video call while playing games on Facebook.
He describes Messenger as the “connective tissue for people to be together when apart, regardless of which service they’re choosing to use.”
Facebook platforms, including Instagram, Oculus, and Portal devices already rely on Messenger communications technology to provide users the possibility to make phone and video calls.
Last September, Facebook enabled messaging between its Instagram app and Messenger, and the company is also planning to bring the capability to WhatsApp as well.
Integrating Messenger features across Facebook is beneficial to users as it lets them reach more people and reduces the need to download or jump between separate apps.
However, critics have raised concerns about Facebook intertwining its services in a way that could make it impossible to break the company up.