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Facebook Gives Up On Desktop Apps: Kills Messenger For Windows and Firefox 53

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook today began prompting Facebook Messenger for Windows users as well as Facebook Messenger for Firefox users with a message saying the apps are shutting down next week. Without much of an explanation, the company plans to kill off both on March 3. It appears that Facebook is no longer interested in developing desktop apps. The Android and iOS versions are still alive and well." You can always connect to their IM service using a generic XMPP client like Pidgin (too bad Facebook doesn't federate).
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Facebook Gives Up On Desktop Apps: Kills Messenger For Windows and Firefox

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  • Good! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by awweaver ( 1633905 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:21PM (#46363021)
    Now kill it for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
  • WhatsApp (Score:4, Interesting)

    by raventrue ( 205062 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:26PM (#46363073)

    It seems like this might have something to do with the acquisition of WhatsApp. Or possibly the timing is just convenient.

    • Re:WhatsApp (Score:4, Interesting)

      by krkhan ( 1071096 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:31PM (#46363115) Homepage
      WhatsApp is working on voice-calls and is aspiring to compete against Skype. Somewhere down the road a desktop client for WhatsApp is definitely in the works. At that time Facebook is most likely going to market WhatsApp pretty aggressively as the end-all-be-all messaging and communication platform.

      So yes, definitely related.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        How do companies like Facebook not worry about creating the impression - the reputation of being a company that will abandon you with virtually no notice!?

      • FB will need at least 180 years to recoup their investment in whatsapp.
      • >> end-all-be-all messaging and communication platform

        You mean like Skype, Viber, Line and not so long ago MSN and ICQ. FFS, just turn on the goddamn federation. I don't care for client-server protocol, but just let people from different networks talk to each other.

      • It'd work a lot better if they kept the facebook chat desktop clients going until the whatsapp desktop client is ready, so they could market the latter as an upgrade for users of the former. What they're doing is just shooting themselves in the foot to no purpose.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27, 2014 @06:36PM (#46363149)


  • Is the benefit of "making as many people as happy as possible" worth the cost of "keeping nine million different apps running"? In this case, evidently not.

  • Messenger for Firefox really makes my life easier.
    • That's odd because not having people IM me all day makes my life easier. In fact, I don't actually have a Facebook account.
      • I would like to have people IM me and me IM them, like in the old days with MSN. I can use IRC, but it's only useful to talk to computer nerds and get help troubleshooting Xorg.
        I remember reading MSN is dead, which is sad as everyone used to be on it. You didn't get to look at each other's contact list, or look up stranger people's contact lists on the web, and you could use 3rd party clients like trillian and amsn.

        Now there's Skype I guess but I don't want to run the official client. 10-12 years ago, the h

  • Hey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Cat ( 19816 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:23PM (#46363565)

    We spent NINETEEN BILLION DOLLARS on a chat program.

    We spent the GDP of Macedonia on a chat program.

    We're Facebook. We're a chat program company, and we spent the price of a brand new aircraft carrier on a chat program with enough left over to buy every man, woman and child in America a pizza with everything.

    Short Facebook.

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      We spent NINETEEN BILLION DOLLARS on a chat program.

      Which is most likely why they are dropping development on 'desktops'. They see chat on desktops being web, and the future of chat in general will be via mobile devices, as that market is already huge and still growing by leaps and bounds.

      Are they right? Who knows, but its a sound concept.

      • by epyT-R ( 613989 )

        If the future of chat is on mobile devices I guess I won't be doing much chatting. The lack of reasonable IO (keyboard), privacy (all sms is logged), and per-msg charges from providers makes it about the least desirable option.

        • >> The lack of reasonable IO (keyboard)

          You know, that IO stands for Input-Output, output is quite decent on mobile phones (for a chat), keyboards are flaky, but swipe-type ones are quite OK for operating with one hand while walking or standing.

          >> privacy (all sms is logged)
          >> and per-msg charges from providers makes it about the least desirable option.

          You seem to think that all chats are SMS. Let me tell you about this wonderful thing, called internet, that has been used to send instant me

        • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

          You may not, but the rest of the world is. Its not about you, its about the majority. You are an insignificant speck.

          No "per message" charge is what whats-app is all about ( well that and being universal across all the major phone platforms ), or are you also illiterate? ( which could explain why you aren't going to be doing much chatting )

    • A chat client is worth more than a brand new aircraft carrier... What a strange world we live in.
      • Not a chat client. An instant messaging service with several million users. They are what gives it value, not the client or servers or anything else.

        • I know, but think about it. An aircraft carrier needs billions of dollars in material, hundreds of hours of work of thousands of workers and years of work. While chat services like WhatsApp could be done by myself alone in well under a year (and it could also win thousands of users, is not rocket science). Our scale of values is terribly flawed.
    • We spent NINETEEN BILLION DOLLARS on a chat program.

      Nope. We spent 19 Billion on 450 Million active users and counting. On a programm that carries itself by asking 1 Euro per year for the service. If we play out cards right, we've just bought the soon-to-be-the-worlds-largest phone and telecommunications company at a bargain price. ... And we expect to play our cards right. Or do you think we screwed up our IPO?

      Android just passed 1 billion activated devices. How long to you think it will take before the ma

    • by archen ( 447353 )

      It's not exactly 19 billion. $12 billion is Facebook shares and $3 billion is restricted stock units. That's a lot like Microsoft paying off its debts with Office and Windows licenses.

  • by PortWineBoy ( 587071 ) on Thursday February 27, 2014 @07:29PM (#46363615)
    Every time I use the Facebook iPhone app to message, it prompts me to use the iOS Messenger app, and then takes me there. Every. Single. Time. Messenger via a desktop browser now relegates you to this tiny little box in the lower right corner of my 27" screen that i can barely see. I have to hit options, see full conversation to get a reasonable messaging view. I would have assumed with the WhatsApp purchase messaging strategy would be a priority...but my experiences combined with the above article makes me seriously wonder what it is...
  • And I'm glad I didn't learn of it when it was useful, that way I wasn't tempted.
    Facebook is so dangerous in terms of surveillance and eternal data retention, I advise to never use it, even for mere contact and "private" chat, even with a dormant, empty account you never log to.

    I hope this makes the Firefox OS facebook application useless, too! I reckon it (probably) uses the same Social API as the desktop version. But I don't kid myself too much.

  • FB chat is just XMPP and easy to setup in pretty much any messenger anyway.

    • XMPP is quite power hungry, keeping an open TCP connection, otherwise it's a good protocol, but Facebook has implemented it with quite a number of ugly bugs that can make it really hard to use a decent XMPP client.

    • FB chat is just XMPP and easy to setup in pretty much any messenger anyway.

      Empathy on both my workstations has suddenly refused to log into facebook with auth failures over the past few weeks (no, I haven't changed my password). I must get around to looking into it, but it would imply that facebook have changed _something_ WRT XMPP...

  • You can always connect to their IM service using a generic XMPP client like Pidgin (too bad Facebook doesn't federate).

    Want to bet that wont be the case much longer?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They've "soft" retired it already.

      What happens is this: Facebook will issue a captcha challenge to anyone using the XMPP login after a while. They claim it's for 'spam reasons'. Problem is, your client won't be able to answer the captcha. So, while the captcha is waiting to be answered you don't get to send or receive any messages--so you have.... log. into. facebook. to fix it. "Heeey isn't it just easier to stay on the website now, guys? Where we can spy on you... a little bit easier?"

      Facebook is shit.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.