Why Can't I Send Facebook Messages on My iPad?

Screenshot of Facebook with Facebook Messenger

 Daniel Nations

It might seem counterintuitive that you can't send messages to your friends on Facebook from within the Facebook app, but Facebook removed this ability and created a separate app just for messages. The messenger button still exists in the Facebook app, however, it no longer takes you to the messenger screen. If you have the messenger app installed, the button will take you to that separate app. If you don't, it should prompt you to download the app, but this doesn't always work.

Ultimately, if you want to send Facebook messages on your iPad, you need to download Facebook Messenger. Once you've actually downloaded the app, the messenger button from within the Facebook app should automatically launch the new app.

The first time Facebook Messenger is loaded, you will be prompted with several questions, including your login information if you haven't connected your iPad to Facebook. You only have to do this the first time you launch the app.

The app may also request your phone number, access to your contacts and the ability to send you notifications. It's quite alright to decline giving it your phone number or your contacts. Obviously, Facebook wants you to give up as much information as possible, but you can message your Facebook friends without giving up your full contact list. The app will also work fine without turning on notifications, although if you use Facebook messages regularly, notifications can be a useful feature.

Browse Facebook and Send Messages In One App Using Friendly

If you don't want your Facebook split into two different apps, Friendly is a good alternative. Friendly works with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and includes support for both Facebook and Facebook Messenger within the same app. It is a simplified experience, but you can still upload photos and read your favorite Facebook groups as well as browse your newsfeed.

Why Did Facebook Split Messages Out of the Facebook App?

According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook created a separate app to create a better experience for their customers. However, it seems more likely that Facebook wanted to streamline the messaging service as its own independent app in hopes that people would choose to use it over text messaging. The more people become dependent on it, the more they are dependent on Facebook, and the more likely they are to keep using it.

Certainly, splitting Facebook into two apps isn't a better experience for most people, so Zuckerberg's doesn't quite ring true. And when you consider the younger generation tends to use other social networking platforms like Tumblr, creating a streamlined messaging service is in part an attempt to win back some of these users.