Dislike: Facebook Messenger gets 94% one star reviews

Users' dislike of Facebook's standalone messaging app points to the pitfalls of trying to take over smartphones.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 06 Nov 2014

In a world of 24-hour social meeja, there is nowhere for companies to hide anymore. So it’s a rather nice twist of irony, given the proclivity of consumers to take to Facebook to vent their anger about a rubbish product or sub-par service, that the social network is now facing the wrath of the online review.

Its Facebook Messenger app has been almost universally panned: since the latest iOS version was launched at the start of this month, it has garnered more than 51,000 reviews, 94% of which have been one star, according to data from analytics firm App Annie, which was first reported by the FT. Ouch.

The app has fared slightly better on Android-powered smartphones, with 65% of ratings at one star in the same period, giving it an average of 2.1 compared to 1.2 on iPhones. But it still doesn’t compare well to ratings of above four stars for Whatsapp (which Facebook swallowed up) and more than three stars for Snapchat (which it failed to, and is now trying to compete with with another standalone app, Slingshot).

Users’ main gripe appears to be being forced by Facebook to download the standalone messenger, instead of being allowed to keep on messaging within the main app. Consumers really don’t like being told what to do, especially when they think it’s ‘pointless’, as many reviewers ranted, and ‘a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist’.

The app is also viewed with suspicion by many worried about the internet giant invading their privacy. It can record audio, for example, leading to many voicing concerns they would be spied on, when actually it’s designed for voice messages and calls.

Facebook has of course ridden many waves of criticism before – users complain every time anything gets changed, but hardly any actually bother to leave over it. But with the voice of the consumer ever shoutier and louder, no thanks to Facebook itself, the social network would do well to pay heed to the criticism before it overreaches itself in its bid to take over our smartphones.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

35 Women Under 35 2020: Nominations open

Management Today's 35 Women Under 35 showcases the country's rising stars in business. Here's how...

Practical steps for breaking silos

Briefing: Adam Williams, former CEO of influencer marketing agency Takumi, shares what he learned about...

The Power 50: Proof that you can be a part-time CEO

Just a few years ago, executives were reluctant to admit they worked part-time for fear...

The 9 worst things a leader can say

Actions may speak louder than words, but words can still drop you in it.

Why you overvalue your own ideas

And why you shouldn't.

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....