Facebook Messenger, Facebook’s dedicated messaging service on mobile has seen an update for Android today. Facebook has announced that now anyone can use the app without having to give the app Facebook login details. All users have to do is to download the app and insert their name and phone number and they are good to go. Facebook has taken a leaf out of Whatsapp in this update. Whatsapp grew fast across many countries due to the simplified signup process. Incidentally, we wrote why a rumored acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook would not make sense. It turns out that Whatsapp has denied the rumor. This update kinda settles it.
According to details released by Facebook, the Android app will get an update today and Messenger accounts will be added over the next few weeks. Users can chat with others who don’t use the app. This will be done via SMS and the person will also be asked to download the app for faster messaging in the chat message. The feature is live now in India, Indonesia, Australia, Venezuela and South Africa and other countries will follow shortly afterwards. If you notice, all of these countries are emerging markets which Facebook has been targeting for greater adoption. Users who register this way can also use group chat share photos.
This is a serious attempt by Facebook to replace SMS in these emerging markets as it makes use of Data instead of costly SMS fees. Facebook has been trying to make the usage of messenger more widespread. The new Mozilla Firefox has Facebook messenger support built right in. There is no news if this update will come to the iPhone and the Blackberry by judging by Facebook’s track record, it might just roll out soon. Facebook has announced the update but the Google Play link doesn’t reflect the update yet.
App | Facebook Messenger (Not updated at the time of publishing)