Facebook might be prepping to reintegrate basic messaging functions back into its main mobile app for iPhone and iPad, eight years after separating Messenger into a standalone app.

App researcher Jane Manchun Wong first spotted this feature being tested with a tiny slice of Facebook’s user base. The test focuses on the app’s Messenger button that now takes you to the previously removed Chats tab instead of opening the separate Messenger app.

The Verge has more:

In a follow up tweet, Wong notes that this Chats section only contains a limited selection of Messenger’s features. Although you can use it to send and receive messages, you’ll still need to open the standalone Messenger app to make calls, send photos or send message reactions.

We’re not surprised as this seems to be part of Facebook’s upcoming pivot to privacy that will see it integrate messaging functions across Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp to make these services interoperable.

Messenger was first released as a standalone app back in 2011. Three years later in 2014, the company removed all messaging functions from the eponymous mobile app. Even though the social networking behemoth is testing basic chat functionalities in the mobile Facebook app, that doesn’t mean that the standalone Messenger app is going away anytime soon.

Not only does a single app to access both the main Facebook service and Messenger make a lot of sense, but we also know that Mark Zuckerberg himself said that messaging features all continue to exist in WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.

Should Messenger be reintegrated into Facebook’s eponymous iOS app?

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