Facebook Messenger aims at ubiquity, opens to users without Facebook accounts


Facebook wants their Messenger app to be the default way people communicate, and they know the only way to accomplish that goal is to open the service to as many people as possible. That is why the social media giant has stripped the account requirement for Facebook Messenger from the app’s most recent Android version.

Instead of having to log in to Facebook, users can sign into the app using only their name and phone number. From there, it’s as easy as drafting up a message and sending it off. It’s a curious approach from a company that at one point limited membership to only those with a college email address, but it’s all in the name of ubiquity.

Just yesterday, as the SMS turned 20, we asked if the text message still holds a relevant place in the smartphone era. Over 50 percent of our readers say that the text is still their primary form of communication, but 35 percent say they rely at least in some part on other messaging services such as Facebook, GTalk, and email. SMS is still in heavy use largely thanks to the fact that it is compatible with all mobile phones. A messaging service won’t do much good if your friends and family aren’t also using it.

In the end, removing an account requirement from the Messenger app is a win-win for Facebook. The service becomes more intriguing to those looking for a ubiquitous experience and should entice the few stragglers left to sign up for a full-fledged Facebook account. But there is still a ways to go. For starters, access for users without a Facebook account will be limited to India, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, and South Africa. The update will reach other countries (and the iOS version of the app) down the road.

[via The Verge]

Kevin Krause
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  1. Proud to say no Facebook or Twitter product has ever touched any of my phones and never will

    1. So, holy one… What makes it ok for you to use Google’s social networking site?

      1. When did he mention he used google+? I don’t recall.

        1. He posted with a Google+ profile ;)

        2. It’s okay, I do use Google+ as I’m a self confessed lover of all things Google, but I use the service on a very personal level without all the distractions that Facebook and Twitter carry with them… I have about 8 friends on there, that’s it… 8 real life friends that I share things with when we’re not talking in person or on Google Talk… the reason I said “proud” in my original post is that nowadays people sometimes give you a strange look if you’re not on Facebook and Twitter and I just don’t fold under that “well, if everyone else has it, I have to have it too” (:

      2. I’m not holy, there’s only one that’s holy and that’s not me ;-)

    2. I’m on twitter but only to participate in giveaway contests :P

      But Facebook can rot in hades – I’m with you there.

    3. I use third party apps for both of those services so I can say the same thing considering I am not using first part apps in this case lol

  2. And the word of the day is…

    1. Ubiquity?

  3. This may be a way for me to finally leave facebook. It’s all I use it for anyway.

  4. sneaky dogs

  5. Anyone know if iOS folks can do this as well? I have two iPhone user friends who aren’t on facebook that I’d like to be able to have group messages with.

  6. they’d better change the name…

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