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8/18/2014
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Facebook Messenger: How To Turn Off Notifications

If you want to shut off alerts from friends within Messenger, you'll need to look beyond the app, iOS and Android users.

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Back in April, Facebook announced plans to split its flagship app into two -- one to browse the social network and another, called Messenger, to chat with friends. Messenger, Facebook said, would be faster than the same function baked into the main app, since users wouldn't need to download their news feed to chat.

It's been a few weeks since Facebook first prompted users to make the switch, and not everyone is happy. Android users have logged nearly 1 million one-star reviews of the app, and the iOS version also averages a one-star rating.

Users' complaints run the gamut, from the inconvenience of downloading a separate app to the permissions Messenger requires. But as people continue to familiarize themselves with it, some have noticed another nagging problem: You can't turn off notifications from within the app.

[Get a grip on your account. Read 10 Most Misunderstood Facebook Privacy Facts.]

What the app does let you do is manage your notifications. If you don't want to receive alerts from friends for a specific time period, such as overnight or for an hour during the day, Messenger gives you that option.

But to turn off notifications completely, Android and iOS users must dig deeper into their device's settings. Here's what you need to know.

How to disable iOS notifications
To turn off notifications on iOS, you'll need to visit your device's Settings page and then tap Notification Center. Scroll through your apps until you find Messenger, and then tap to browse your options.

You have a variety of settings, from tweaking the alert sounds to choosing where notifications appear -- if at all. By default, you'll see banner notifications when your screen is locked, plus alerts within your Notification Center. To turn off alerts completely, switch your alerts from Banners to None at the top, and then turn off each option below.

How to disable Android notifications
Turning off notifications on Android devices requires a few more steps than iOS. To turn off push notifications, go to your device's main settings, and tap to open the Apps menu. Select Messenger, uncheck "Show notifications," and then confirm.

Though the move to Messenger got rid of the chat head popups for iOS users, they're still present in the Android version. To rid yourself of Messenger notifications completely, you need to turn this off, too. Open your Messenger app, and navigate to the Settings page. Tap Notifications > Chat Heads > Off.

How to mute notifications
If disabling all Messenger notifications is too extreme, you can still mute them for a period of time.

To mute messages from a specific friend, find that conversation under the Recent tab. Tap the Info button, and then tap Mute. You have three options for muting the conversation's notifications: You can mute it for one hour, until 8:00 a.m., or until you turn it back on.

You can also mute notifications from everyone. To access this option, navigate to Messenger's settings, tap Notifications, and choose to turn them off for one hour or until 8:00 a.m.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2014 | 10:38:38 AM
Re: Poor design
I equate FB chat with text messaging, but for a different group of friends. It's never been my experience that I or my friends camp out and wait to see who's on Facebook to send a message -- I never expect anyone to respond instantaneously (though sometimes that happens and we strike up a conversation).

I think everyone has their preferred mode of communication. For example, I have friends who won't respond to emails, but if you message them on FB, they'll reply. I have others who don't use FB chat, but they'll use Gchat. I'll email other friends to make plans instead of doing it via text. Depends on the person.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 7:50:43 PM
Re: Poor design
I take that a step further, Thomas. Not only is it not appealing, but I dislike the fact that someone could camp out and wait for me to be on Facebook to ping me with a message. I have enough communication tools and services to keep track of without adding more that can't flex to meet my preferences.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 7:24:38 PM
Re: Poor design
Buying into Facebook's proprietary messaging system doesn't really have any appeal for me.
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 5:41:44 PM
Re: Poor design
Great article. Interestingly, I was asked by a friend over the weekend how to turn off chat heads, and now I have turned off the notifications in Messenger.

I don't think that I need notifications pushed to the app, so I will test this out and see. I get why Facebook makes this difficult to do on Android, because they want to make sure people get hooked. But I personally tire of constant notifications. 
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 4:16:33 PM
Facebook messages/chat
I sent some FB messages this weekend, but I don't think I am going to miss the chat.
jagibbons
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0%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 3:58:42 PM
Poor design
I know that companies provide services for free and need impressions to sell advertising, but it is just plain dirty pool to not have an option to turn off notifications completely. For that, and the many other reasons cited in the one-star reviews, I'll steer clear of Facebook Messenger and recommend my friends and family do so as well.
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