App and security researcher Jane Manchun Wong has discovered news that might make a lot of Facebook app users very happy: It appears Facebook is conducting limited tests to return Facebook Messenger to the main Facebook app.
For now, this new "Chats" section seems to only contain the basic chat functionalities. To give message reactions, make a call, send photos, etc, you'd still have to open the Messenger app
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 12, 2019
As you can see in the screenshots Wong posted, users will be able to tap the existing Messenger button in the Facebook app and be taken to their messages directly in the app instead of that button working as it does now, which launches the individual Facebook Messenger app instead.
Until 2014, Facebook users were able to send and receive Facebook messages in the primary app. But then Facebook decided to remove the messaging feature from the app and forced users to use the dedicated Facebook Messenger app to send and receive Facebook messages.
Wong speculates that the reversal of this policy is in preparation of Facebook integrating its messaging services across all its apps: Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. It’s important to note, however, that this limited testing of Messenger reintegration appears to be in the early stages. Currently, only basic chats can be sent in the Facebook app. At this time reactions, calls, videos, and photos are not supported.
If this integration ends up seeing the light of day, it’s possible Facebook could roll it out to all users by early 2020, which is when Facebook is expected to unify its messaging platforms.
Update: Facebook reached out to us with the following statement regarding its plans for Messenger:
We are testing ways to improve the messaging experience for people within the Facebook app. Messenger remains a feature-rich, stand-alone messaging app with over a billion people using it monthly to connect with the people and businesses they care about most. We do not have any additional details to share at this time.