Viewing Facebook Messages Without Installing The Messenger App

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of stink over the fact that Facebook is splitting its messaging functionality out into a new Facebook Messenger app.

Some fear-mongers have been spreading rumors that Facebook plans to use your camera and microphone to listen in on your private conversations, while Facebook has sent pretty clear messages that it has no intent to do so.

The result, however, has been quite a few conversations where friends and family have asked me whether they should avoid installing the Messenger app.

The new Facebook Messenger app has been called Evil...is it?

There have been a few changes to Messenger in the fact that there is a new app, but do you need it to view your Facebook messages?

Do We REALLY Think Facebook Is Spying On Us?

My response has been pretty simple. Even if it were true, and Facebook were spying…is your life really that interesting? If you’re concerned with Facebook listening in on your conversations, maybe you should rethink what activities you’re engaged in. Reader Favorites from SocMedSean!Play Video

No…Facebook is not really interested in your rants during your kids soccer game.

Surprise…they don’t want to hear you use the terms “ping”, “strategize” and “leverage” in your corporate meetings.

It’s true…Facebook is not interested in any of your embarrassing bathroom noises while you play Candy Crush Saga on the toilet.

Believe it or not, Facebook does not care that you’re playing Candy Crush Saga on the toilet.CLICK TO TWEET

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but installing the Messenger app isn’t going to place your privacy in any more risk than the already embarrassing photos and “woe is me” posts that you’re putting on Facebook yourself.

So calm down, don’t believe the fear-mongers….just relax.

Facebook Messenger Doesn’t Represent The End Of Our Personal Privacy

Installing Facebook Messenger is not the end of your privacy…unless we want it to be. You can still use the phone to call people. You can still text. You can still email.

If you choose not to use Facebook Messenger, great!

It’s one less communication channel that you need to check while you’re sitting at the stoplight holding everyone else up in line when the light turns green and you’re fixated on your phone.

{STOP THAT, PEOPLE!!}

But if you don’t believe me and you NEED your Facebook messages, yet are terrified that adding it to your phone will require you to wear a foil hat for the rest of your life so Facebook doesn’t steal your thoughts, then here are the instructions on how to get them.

NOTE: No…it’s not optimal. Yes, it’s kind of cludgy…but if you want the best experience, simply install the app and get over it.

Viewing Facebook Messages On Your Mobile Device Or Tablet Without Using The Facebook App

  1. Install Chrome on your device. If you are an Android user, it’s already on your phone.
  2. Open Chrome and navigate to http://www.facebook.com (don’t log in yet)
  3. Open the context menu within Chrome and check the box next to “Request Desktop Site”
  4. Reload the page and you should see the Facebook.com desktop site.
  5. Log in.
  6. Click the Messages link in the left nav under your profile photo to see your messages and respond to them.
Using Chrome, you can request the desktop version of Facebook

You can still view your Facebook messages on your mobile device by viewing the desktop version of Facebook in your mobile browser. Just be sure to use the “Request desktop site” feature in Chrome to make sure you see the desktop version of Facebook, not the mobile version.

Again, not the best user experience, but it gets you to your messages without ever having to bow to the privacy will of Facebook and their desire that you download their second, stand-alone Facebook Messenger app.

If you don’t want to install the Messenger app, you can still view your Facebook messages on your mobile device.CLICK TO TWEET

Except for the fact that you basically gave away all privacy expectations when you “Agreed” to the Facebook terms of use by creating your account.

Oh yeah…that small detail.

I hope this helps. I also hope this post gets zero traffic because people aren’t silly enough to Google “how can I view my Facebook messages on my phone without installing the Messenger app”.

We’ll see….

Cheers!

–Sean


Update – I am astonished by the responses to this post…AND I apologize for being a snarky SOB.

Wow…just wow.

First, let me apologize to my readers for the high-level of snark in this post. I probably went a little overboard and if it offends folks, sorry. Not my intent.

Second, I cannot believe the traffic this post is generating.

What that means to me is there are lots of real, legitimate reasons that people want to view Facebook Messenger messages without installing the mobile app. If you read the comments below, you’ll see that my readers have (once again) done a great job chiming in and sharing their reasons.

Some of them include:

Privacy

Not wanting to give away all of your private information, although I don’t see how viewing the messages in the desktop version vs the mobile app makes any difference on that front. Facebook still has all your messages and can still read them, regardless of the platform.

Resources, mainly storage on your phone

This one is SUPER valid.

On my Samsung Galaxy, the Facebook Messenger app is a bloated whale on an app.

The current version of the app takes up 408 MB of storage.  That’s nearly half a gig of storage for a single app.

By comparison, What’s App Messenger only takes up 19MB of storage and is a very similar type of messenger app. If you’re short on storage or your phone doesn’t allow you to move apps to your SD card, I can see why you would be unhappy with Messenger.

A loathe for chat applications

If you hate chat apps, then you should love the fact that Facebook split Messenger out, so you don’t have to install it. I completely get it.

Battery Life

Again, a very fair and valid point.

Now, instead of one app checking for Facebook messages, you have two. Two apps essentially performing a very similar function on a similar schedule could really impact your battery life.

The solution? Look at the settings for both the Facebook and Messenger apps and adjust how frequently the apps are searching for new messages or data.

Data Consumption

Not everyone has unlimited data on their mobile phone plan, I get it.

But in the single Facebook app that included Messenger, you didn’t have a choice as to whether you wanted to get messages on your phone or not. You either installed the Facebook app and got the messages, or you didn’t install the app and got nothing.

With the division of Facebook the app and Facebook Messenger, you can save data by choosing not to install the Messenger app. For those that want the best of both worlds, Facebook even included a “Data Saver” feature in Messenger to reduce the amount of data that the app uses by not automatically downloading images and videos.

To access the data saver feature, open Facebook Messenger and then click your profile photo. There should be a “Data Saver” menu item in the options that appear.

The Facebook Messenger data saver feature can limit the automatic downloads of images and videos

The Facebook Messenger data saver feature can limit the automatic downloads of images and videos

The Facebook Messenger App Crashes

😉

It has gotten better, but at the beginning, Messenger was a hulking piece of $hit. I certainly expected more from Facebook (which I probably shouldn’t have). I feel like it’s a lot more stable, so maybe this has been worked out. That is, until they try to add more advertisements in 

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