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Facebook smartphone chats pushed to app

SAN FRANCISCO--Facebook on Wednesday began pushing smartphone chats between friends to a stand-alone Messenger application

The move to make members of the world's leading online social network resort to Messenger for text exchanges on the move comes shortly after Facebook outlined a strategy to focus on specialized “apps” for smartphones and tablets.

“Today we are starting to notify people that messages are moving out of the Facebook app and over to the Messenger app,” Facebook said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

“To continue sending messages on mobile, people will need to install the Messenger app.”

The change coming in an update to Facebook applications for iPhones and Android-powered mobile devices is starting in “a handful” of countries in Europe.

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