As has been expected for quite a while, Facebook has started taking the Messenger part out of its official app for iOS and Android this week, prompting those who want to use the feature to install the standalone Messenger. To say that this hasn’t gone well with users would be an understatement.
Facebook Messenger is now the No.1 app in the iTunes App Store for iOS, but it has a paltry one-star rating. It’s unclear if something like this has ever happened before – for the most downloaded app in the App Store to have such dismal reviews.
Hence, it looks like forcing people to download a second app to do things that up until now were available in your main app isn’t that good of an idea. Still, Facebook seems intent on marching on this ‘unbundling’ road, so if you want to chat with your Facebook friends on your smartphone you will have to install the separate Messenger app. The change to Facebook’s main app is rolling out slowly, so it may not have pushed you out of its Messages section just yet. But it’s bound to happen soon.
The reviews are bad not only in the US App Store, with analytics tracking company App Annie reporting 1 to 2 star averages in nearly every country’s version of Apple’s store.
Interestingly, the rating situation seems to be different in the Google Play Store for Android, where Facebook Messenger currently enjoys a four-star average. However, that’s because the ratings over there are cumulative over all the versions of an app, whereas in the iTunes App Store they’re shown only for the latest one. That said, even in the Play Store the recent ratings are mostly negative.
While in the past Facebook users who were against certain changes introduced by the social network created special groups for the purpose of complaining about them, now they have found a new avenue to express their frustration – the ratings in the app stores.