Facebook has officially announced that users based in the U.S., Canada, Peru and Venezuela will no longer need a Facebook account to use Facebook Messenger and can message without signing into their Facebook account.
The users will be able to send photos and videos, do group chats, enable voice or video calling, send stickers and much more with simply a phone number and a name.
“With Messenger, we’ve been focused on creating the best messaging experience possible by giving people a fun and easy way to connect and express themselves with friends and contacts. If you’re in Canada, the United States, Peru or Venezuela, we are starting to roll out a new way for you to sign up for Messenger – without a Facebook account.”said Louis Boval, Facebook engineer.
Currently, this service will only be catered to the aforementioned countries, but it will soon be rolled out globally. Users can easily upload their phone contacts to the app without signing up to Facebook.
This new feature is the same as the services we find on WeChat, Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Kik.
About 2 billion people will own a smartphone by 2016, predicted by eMarketer, and this prediction gave an edge to Facebook Messenger to capture the market. Hence, the social media giant ramps up their functionality by becoming a web browser and chat window.
How Will It Work?
At the F8 Facebook Developer Conference, the company announced 40 different apps for Messenger. They added video calls in April and have now come up with user independence. With such huge leaps in only a few months, it looks like Mark Zuckerberg will continue to add features.
Here’s how the new feature will work:
- On the welcome screen of the Messenger app, it will display an option for “Not on Facebook?”
- From here, you can easily sign up for a Messenger account with your name and phone number and upload a photo.
- You can then start accessing your account without even logging in to a Facebook account.
However, if you log in with your Facebook account, you will get access to messages sent over the main app. You can easily manage your Facebook friends and contacts and their messages as well. You can even take the advantage of sending messages to multiple mobile devices.
The change has raised the question about the future of WhatsApp and whether it will remain a standalone app.
In an email to Forbes, Jan Rezab, CEO of social media analytics firm Socialbakers, said this recent move could help prime the app to ultimately integrate with WhatsApp and Messenger may prove to be a default customer service platform in the coming years.
In spite of all of this, one thing is clear: this initiative will take the social media behemoth one-step ahead to reach 1 billion users.