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iTunes reviews slaughter Messenger app after separation from Facebook

Facebook Messenger app reviews have hit an all-time low on the iTunes Store, with an average review of one star, after the social network forced through an update separating the service from the standard Facebook app.

The app reportedly freezes on some users too

The messenger app, which has recently come under fire for allegedly accessing GPS and voice recordings on users’ phones, took a one star rating from a total of 20,482 reviews on iTunes. This is despite it being the most downloaded free app in the store.

The Messenger app, available for iOS, Android and Windows devices, was until last week, part of the Facebook social media service but it was promptly removed in an attempt to monetise the service through advertising and the sale of digital stickers.

Historically, the app was rated highly with previous versions averaging four stars from 185,158 reviews. However, users are reportedly unhappy about now having to download a separate app.

The Android platform Messenger app, available from the Google Play store, has an average rating of four stars with over seven million reviews, however post-update reviews have been similarly less than kind about the forcibly downloaded app.

Facebook, which bought Messenger competitor Whatsapp for $19bn - 19 times what the group paid for Instagram, said Messenger offers: “A fast, free and reliable way to stay in touch. Just like texting."

However, many app features are points of complaints for users, such as an insecurity issue caused by the absence of a log in screen, which allows any phone users access to the private messages. Furthermore, the app tracks users' locations and informs other users when the app is being used.

One reviewer said: “I refuse to download an app that takes up so much extra space on my phone when I already had an app that did the same exact thing as this one.

“I refuse to give Facebook permission to access my microphone or camera at their will. They also sure as heck are not going to get permission to see my call logs or send messages to my contacts.”

Recently 'millennials' have flocked to alternative services such as Snapchat and Instagram.

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