Many of our readers were quite vocal about their displeasure when we wrote in July that Facebook would begin forcing iPhone and Android users to download a separate app for messaging. Well, angry readers, here is a bit of mischief for you: Time.com has discovered a simple way to avoid using Facebook Messenger.
Facebook has been rolling out alerts prompting users to download its Messenger app. The trick to stop these alerts—and to get back the old private message interface in its flagship app—unfortunately still involves downloading Messenger. But there's a workaround for iOS users, who can delete the app after it has downloaded or pause the download in the App Store before it has completed. When they return to the Messages tab on the main Facebook app, they will be able to use the service after hitting cancel when the app prompts them to download Messenger.
We tested this method on an iPhone 5C running iOS 7 and were able to send messages the old way in the Facebook app.
The loophole only works for iPhones, and it's likely that Facebook will close it soon. The social network has been aggressive in its attempts to get users to adopt multiple standalone Facebook apps, such as the Paper news reader and its Snapchat clone Slingshot. None of these apps—not even the well-reviewed Paper—has managed to snag more than a fraction of a percent of the social network's billion-plus active users.
Did you try this method? Did it work for you? Let us know in the comments below.