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Thoughts on Facebook Messenger

By Scott Tibbs, August 27, 2014

Facebook's messaging app has generated quite a bit of controversy, though many of the concerns about it have been addressed. I had it installed, but I uninstalled it due to one very frustrating feature.

I resisted using Messenger at first because I was annoyed that Facebook is pushing people to use it by breaking the Facebook app. The Facebook app has handled messages for years with no problem, and the only reason to disable that feature of the app is to get people to use the new app. But even that was not enough to make me uninstall it.

No, the reason I uninstalled Messenger is because of the extremely obnoxious dialogue box that asks to turn on push notifications for the app. I generally do not like push notifications, so I do not allow them. With most apps, this is not a problem - the app requests the ability to do push notifications, I decline, and I never worry about it again.

Messenger is different. Every single time you go to the app - whether you are switching back and forth from Facebook or opening the app from the menu - the app asks for permission to use push notifications. It does this every single time. That is incredibly annoying, and makes it more trouble to use Messenger than it is worth.

So if I want to see private messages on my iPod Touch, I will use the mobile website via Safari. As far as I can tell, all of the features of the Facebook app are also available on FB mobile, and private messages actually work on the mobile website. For me personally, it is rapidly becoming more convenient to use the mobile website instead of app.

This was a bad marketing decision by Facebook. It will be interesting to see if they backtrack.