Messenger Chat Feature Spotted in Testing Within Facebook App Ahead of WhatsApp, Instagram Unification Plans


Facebook’s plans of creating a unified messaging platform based on the infrastructure of Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram won’t materialise until 2020, as per founder Mark Zuckerberg. But a recent discovery might give us an idea of how this cross-connected vision of Facebook might look like. Renowned application researcher, Jane Manchun Wong, has shared screenshots depicting the chat functionality of Messenger within the main Facebook app. The new discovery indicates that Messenger, or at least its chat feature, might finally return to the vanilla Facebook app soon.

The screenshots shared by the famed app reverse engineer show a small Messenger icon at the top in the Facebook app. Tapping on the Messenger icon opens the conversation feed with the list of all contact in the same fashion as they appear in the Messenger app. From the screenshots, it appears that users will be able to have a regular chat with any of their acquaintances in the main Facebook app.

However, the integrated Messenger chat feature only has support for a simple chat without any multimedia bells and whistles at the moment – though emojis are possible to use. If the user wants to send a reaction, make a voice call or send a photo, they’ll have to rely on the Facebook Messenger app for doing so. Just to be clear here, the Messenger chat feature in the Facebook app is not available widely to users, and was spotted in testing by Wong.

The social media giant released the Messenger app back in 2011 and three years later, removed the Messenger functionality from the main Facebook app. It now appears that Facebook plans to bring back the Messenger feature in preparations for its grand unification plan to bring Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram under a single roof, something that probably won’t happen until next year. However, it is unlikely this time around that Facebook will pull the plugs on the Messenger app once the integration happens, as they serve different markets that Facebook won’t risk losing.


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