Mark Zuckerberg (image 001)

Facebook took a lot of heat back in July when it disabled messaging from the main Facebook app, forcing users to download the standalone Messenger app if they wanted to keep using the social network to send direct messages to friends and family. To most people, the move went vastly misunderstood, and it didn’t help that the company stayed mum about it. At least until now, because in a Q&A session earlier today transcribed by The Verge, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg finally addressed the issue. The reason? It’s all about removing friction.

There is much more to Zuckerberg’s answer than this, but this is the meat of it:

The primary purpose of the Facebook app is News Feed. Messaging was this behavior people were doing more and more. 10 billion messages are sent per day, but in order to get to it you had to wait for the app to load and go to a separate tab. We saw that the top messaging apps people were using were their own app. These apps that are fast and just focused on messaging. You’re probably messaging people 15 times per day. Having to go into an app and take a bunch of steps to get to messaging is a lot of friction.

If you’re interested in getting the full explanation, hop over to The Verge and read on Zuckerber’s full answer. It’s fairly short and clear.