It’s been about three weeks since Facebook Messenger began to be ‘required’ for anyone who wanted to use the social networking site’s private message system, and negative reviews keep rolling in. While many of them center around privacy concerns, there’s a lot more to the complaints. Here are five of the most common problems users say they’ve had, and a couple of tricks for you so that you don’t have to use Messenger at all, if you don’t want to.
Again, this is the most common problem people have. Facebook Messenger, upon install, requests access to a number of your phone’s information, including access to the camera and microphone. While these permissions seem creepy when you’re paying attention to them, as Inquisitr pointed out before, you’ve likely installed dozens of other apps that asked for the same, and not even noticed, because you weren’t already upset about the app. Even simple flashlight apps often ask for these permissions!
2. Battery life.
Many users complain that Facebook Messenger drains battery life, due to notifications that are hard to turn off and a need to keep running all the time. There are some answers for this. Mashable details the process here, but essentially, you have to go into your phone options and turn off notifications for the app, then go into the app and turn of the ‘chat heads.’
3. Which brings us to the third complaint we see: the chat heads themselves.
There are exactly zero places where Facebook chat heads can be placed without being annoying.
— Matt Demers (@MattDemers) August 14, 2014
Yeah, so those stupid chat heads from Facebook Messenger are persistently over EVERYTHING. No thanks.
— Rob Sheppard (@RobSheppard) April 12, 2013
Some users say the Facebook Messenger chat heads are cool, but a vast majority seem to find them invasive, intrusive, and an annoying space-grabber on a phone’s already limited screen size. Of course, as discussed above, you can disable them in the Messenger app’s settings.
4. An additional app equals additional space.
It’s true. You’ve now got two apps for what you used to do with one, and if you’re crowding that in with an original copy of Flappy Bird you can’t bear to delete, a flashlight app, e-mail, and all the other must-have games and apps, you may be getting tight on space and RAM. It’s not necessarily that Facebook Messenger takes so much space, but it’s your space.
5. Simply being required to download it.
The fact that you are ‘forced’ to download Facebook Messenger is one of the most common complaints. The good news is, if you know how to use a few little tricks, you don’t have to. Here are a few ways you can still use Facebook messaging without using Facebook Messenger:
Trick #1: Don’t use the Facebook app.
Instead, load the Facebook mobile website in your browser. You’ll have access to messaging there, just like on your laptop or tablet.
Trick #2: According to LifeHacker, iOS users, at least, can trick the app. Just tap the button within the Facebook app to install Messenger, hit the ‘download’ button in the App Store, then hit ‘stop’ before the download of Messenger finishes. Now the Facebook app will let you access your messages again.
The second loophole may be temporary, but since many people access the Facebook mobile site on tablets and other devices, we can hope that being able to message in the mobile site will allow you to make your own choice about Facebook Messenger for a while.