Hermes Would Be Disappointed

Currently No.1 on the app store top charts, Facebook Messenger is being downloaded by millions of people. Originally released in 2011, the app gained a sudden boost in the number of downloads. This is a good thing, right? Normally, this type of popularity would be great for companies. However, Facebook Messenger is receiving an abundance of disapproval and backlash from loyal Facebook users. But why?

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First of all, the existence of the app itself is questionable. Before, Facebook users would be able to send messages to their friends directly from the main Facebook app. Now, users are forced to download a completely different app just to message their friends. I would be fine with doing this if the messaging app provided more features that weren’t available on the main Facebook app. This is not the case though, as the app has no new features and merely provides a new UI. As an iOS reviewer states, “There is nothing that I could add to my messages that would make it so special that it deserves its own app“.

Around 94% of all user reviews are 1 star ratings
Around 94% of all user reviews are 1 star ratings

You may be asking: “Okay, a mandatory download is cumbersome and has no purpose. But why would that garner an overall 1 star rating from users?” Judging by the reviews, it appears that most people have a problem with what the messenger app is able to do besides messaging.

The Facebook Messenger App is able (but not limited) to:

  • Call phone numbers, record audio, and use the camera at any time without your permission
  • Send SMS messages
  • Read your phone’s call log
  • Read personal profile information stored on your device

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Ouch. Privacy is a huge concern in today’s age, as technology is everywhere. A simple messaging app being able to encroach upon personal information deserves justifiable disapproval. As another iOS reviewer stated, “I have to let Facebook have access to my microphone and camera just to send messages like I was already doing without risking my privacy?” I’m reconsidering my decision to download this app but unfortunately, even if I do want to remove it, the Messenger app is mandatory if I wish to message my Facebook friends on my phone.

As a loyal user, it’s safe to say that Facebook took one step forward and a million steps backward.

This article wouldn’t be possible without:

http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-messenger-app-store-reviews-are-humiliating-2014-8

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/09/facebook-messenger-reviews-app-store_n_5664661.html

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