Facebook to make mobile users download Messenger

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Mobile users who have gotten used to chatting with their friends via Facebook will soon have to make sure they’ve downloaded the social-media giant’s app designed specifically for that.

Facebook has begun notifying mobile users that they’ll no longer be able to text via its core app. Instead, they’ll need to download Messenger, the dedicated┬átexting app Facebook rolled out in 2011.

The company started notifying some users last week. The update will roll out first to Android and iOS users in a handful of European countries, according to a Facebook spokeswoman.

“Messenger is a much faster and better experience and we’ve found that people get replies 20% faster on Messenger than on Facebook,” the spokeswoman said in an e-mail. “Taking messages out of the Facebook app also lets us focus on making Messenger even better for everyone rather than working on two separate Facebook messaging experiences.”