Mideast users slam Facebook Messenger app

Region’s users complain over the fact that the app will soon be mandatory to send and receieve messages on mobile platforms

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Social media giant Facebook’s Messenger app has been criticized by Middle East users, who share concerns with other users around the globe that the app will soon become the only way to send and receive messages on the social network on mobile devices, even if they have the existing popular Facebook app.

Facebook Messenger currently occupies the coveted No. 1 spot in the Apple’s iOS app store. However, it has a vast number of one-star ratings.

Nearly 94 percent of users reviewing the app gave it the lowest rating available, according to U.S.-based business and technology news outlet Business Insider.

“I dont want ur stupid fb messenger app!” one Arab user wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

Another Arab user, in her review of the app on Google Play - the mobile app store for devices running the Android operating system - complained that she had been left with no choice other than to download the app.

“They had to force [us] to download a new app to read and reply to our msgs…[the original Facebook app] is already taking a big amount of my space and data. I don’t need further burden!” the user wrote.

“I feel sorry for all those who have to be forced to use the Facebook Messenger app,” wrote another Middle East-based user on Twitter.

The app, which is available on the iOS and Android mobile operating systems, consolidates messages sent through Facebook and adds features including group messaging and video conferencing.

Controversy around Facebook Messenger - which was originally released in 2011 - also stems from the app’s terms and conditions, which state that it has the ability to call phone numbers, send text messages, record audio and take pictures or video at any time - without the user knowing.

Facebook has around 58 million users in the Middle East, according to figures published last year.

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