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

Unknown Lamer posted about 10 months ago | from the not-like-anyone-was-using-them dept.

Facebook 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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Good! (5, Insightful)

awweaver (1633905) | about 10 months ago | (#46363021)

Now kill it for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Re: Good! (1)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | about 10 months ago | (#46363095)

Would be good for a boss indeed ;-)

Re:Good! (1)

skribe (26534) | about 10 months ago | (#46364351)

Well and truly dead on my Nexus 4. Has never worked.

Re:Good! (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 10 months ago | (#46365513)

Whatsapp is dead. Long live Facebook Messenger!

(rebranded)

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46365541)

Those teams are not run by an alcoholic rapist so don't expect them to be killed. Seriously, a team that will defend such a person is a cancer, and Facebook is right to fire them.

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46365697)

the rape accusations are probably made up bullshit..

Can facebook do anything that's not news worthy? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363037)

I'm seriously asking this isnt news for nerds or something that matters... who fucking cares

True dat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363113)

There is quite true. You can't call news something like this one that affect both these (two) users of that service.

Re:True dat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363309)

There is quite true. You can't call news something like this one that affect both these (two) users of that service.

This is about Facebook, not Windows Phone

Re:Can facebook do anything that's not news worthy (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#46364413)

Well, they are the largest social networking provider out there, so when they make major changes that will effect a large group of people i would think that would qualify as something that matters.

We are doomed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363067)

Rumor has it that facebook won't even run on desktop browsers.
WE ARE DOOMED!

WhatsApp (4, Interesting)

raventrue (205062) | about 10 months ago | (#46363073)

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

Re:WhatsApp (3, Interesting)

krkhan (1071096) | about 10 months ago | (#46363115)

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.

End all, be all, gone tomorrow you mean! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46364325)

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!?

Re:WhatsApp (1)

beefoot (2250164) | about 10 months ago | (#46365533)

FB will need at least 180 years to recoup their investment in whatsapp.

Meanwhile, on our planet... (1)

Tenebrousedge (1226584) | about 10 months ago | (#46370579)

You seem to have a strange divergence from reality.

The deal is four billion dollars cash, the rest in stock. [bloomberg.com] Facebook's net income for 2013 was $1.5 billion. [fb.com] The deal ate up 35% of Facebook's cash on hand, so there's not necessarily any debt here to make up, and all things being held constant, my math would have them in the green again within three years.

I don't think that Facebook has any more chance of long-term success than those people silly enough to sell operating systems, but at the moment they're both pretty good rackets. This is a heavy investment for Facebook, but they're not an untalented bunch; they have by necessity made a very fast pig out of a PHP application, and they have (apparently) a lot of money to throw at a new market. Can anyone really say that this makes less sense than whatever chunk of Google's $6.8B R&D budget is going to autonomous vehicles and Glass?

Besides, you're giving Zuckerberg & co. far too much credit for long-term thinking.

Re:WhatsApp (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 10 months ago | (#46365773)

>> 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.

Re:WhatsApp (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 10 months ago | (#46366073)

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.

They had desktop apps? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363149)

Interesting.

Interesting to watch FB evolve (1)

sootman (158191) | about 10 months ago | (#46363171)

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.

Getting mental (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363251)

Seems the whole thing is getting desperate... Killing off ideas left and right, paying way way too much for companies that do things EVERYONE else already does? C'mon, 19 thousand million for an IM product, really? Their marketing tech isn't living up to promises and the growth is fading... I'd say the idea pool is dry! I've got a bunch of swampland for sale, interested? Seems like a mental breakdown is forthcoming...

Re:Getting mental (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 10 months ago | (#46363719)

Maybe they just like to subsidise programmers?

Re:Getting mental (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#46365701)

Good. I hope it dies. Things like facebook seem to bring out junior high school level behavior from supposed adults.

Re:Getting mental (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 10 months ago | (#46365781)

Yeah, because hiding that behaviour and pretending to be an adult is so much healthier. People should evolve, not blame the tools that let them show who they really are.

Bummer (2)

Tolkienfanatic (1111661) | about 10 months ago | (#46363277)

Messenger for Firefox really makes my life easier.

Re:Bummer (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 10 months ago | (#46363733)

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.

Re:Bummer (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 10 months ago | (#46363949)

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 house rule was to run Windows but not run any other Microsoft software. More crucially I don't have a microphone. (and I don't want to deal with it and use the keyboard to push-to-talk and voice chat sitting at the desk).

Re:Bummer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46364503)

Said pretty much no-one ever

FBook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46363321)

Trust in FaceBook. FaceBook is your 'freind'.

Yeah, right.

Hey (5, Interesting)

The Cat (19816) | about 10 months ago | (#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.

Re:Hey (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#46364433)

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.

Re:Hey (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 10 months ago | (#46365705)

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.

Re:Hey (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 10 months ago | (#46365817)

>> 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 messages without charge for a couple of decades now (ICQ, Odigo, MSN, IRC). Using adequate encryption scheme you can even take back your privacy.

Re:Hey (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#46365927)

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 )

Re:Hey (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 10 months ago | (#46364721)

A chat client is worth more than a brand new aircraft carrier... What a strange world we live in.

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46365559)

I think i'll go vomit now X{

Re:Hey (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 10 months ago | (#46365819)

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.

Re:Hey (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | about 10 months ago | (#46367855)

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.

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46365233)

Facebook is up 10% since the acquisition. Are you actually shorting it? Do you have any other investment advice?

Re:Hey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46365467)

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.

Macedonia? They're a tiny country, you know?

You got it wrong. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 10 months ago | (#46366111)

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 majority of humanity is communicating and doing most of its everyday work with an android based smartphone? I expect that to happen in the next decade.

Re: You got it wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46366455)

Good luck. Maybe if Google fixes the laundry list of "broken by design" issues, sure, that could happen.

Pull your head out of your arse - using android is like using windows xp with no firewall or service packs.

Wtf is wrong with you tech hipsters?

Re:Hey (1)

archen (447353) | about 10 months ago | (#46366861)

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.

Do they even have a Messenger strategy? (2)

PortWineBoy (587071) | about 10 months ago | (#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...

I didn't know there was a Firefox chat extension (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about 10 months ago | (#46363837)

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 is dying - Film at 11 (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#46364059)

Look, the cold hard fact is that Facebook is dying, and there have been no signs of any reversal of that in people under 30.

It's even being actively removed from cell phones.

The metrics are there, if you know how to look.

(no, I will NOT do your work for you)

Re:FB is dying - Film at 11 (1)

solanum (80810) | about 10 months ago | (#46366349)

Interesting that you should mention that as I removed it last week. I haven't cancelled my account, just taken it off my phone. I'll check it weekly or so via my desktop browser I guess. It was annoying me on the phone though. Now I keep getting emails from Facebook telling me I'm "missing" stuff.... I'm over 30 by the way.

Re:FB is dying - Film at 11 (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#46368185)

Well, some of us over 30, who were on FB from the early part, are also deserting it.

But that's harder to find in the stats.

Just XMPP, use decent messenger (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 10 months ago | (#46365725)

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

Re:Just XMPP, use decent messenger (1)

Pi1grim (1956208) | about 10 months ago | (#46365827)

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.

Re:Just XMPP, use decent messenger (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 10 months ago | (#46365857)

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...

XMPP (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 10 months ago | (#46365933)

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?

Re:XMPP (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46369591)

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.

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