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Why separate messenger app makes sense for Facebook

Some Facebook users may be unhappy that they'll soon be required to use a separate messaging app to access the service on mobile devices, but this could be a smart strategy for the social network.

Facebook needs to be ready for the time when users abandon desktops and access the site only by mobile devices, so expanding its smartphone and tablet offerings makes sense, said John Simons, Associated Press technology and media editor.

Facebook Messenger screens
Source: iTunes
Facebook Messenger screens

"We all need to stop thinking about Facebook as this sort of little company that Mark Zuckerberg started in his dorm room. It is a corporation now that has many different divisions that create lots of different types of products for different types of consumers, different audiences," Simons said.

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Facebook users shouldn't expect the company to introduce a Skype-like mobile calling service anytime soon, however, Simons said.

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"I can't think of a way Facebook would get a return on investment in allowing ... people to make calls with each other through Facebook's infrastructure," Simons said.

—By CNBC's Althea Chang

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