Nishtha KanalDec 05, 2012 10:42:28 IST
Although they represent a small minority anywhere in the world, users who have no Facebook account can now use its messenger service. Facebook has opened up its messenger service to people who aren't registered with the social network, and you can now use Facebook Messenger to chat using only your name and mobile number.
Facebook updated its Android app yesterday to embrace a wider audience base by removing the necessity to be a Facebook member to use the messenger service. It could help in enticing more non-members to use Facebook services while giving existing users a bonus by letting them chat with friends who are not on the social networking website.
Facebook Messenger takes in non Facebook users into the fold
Earlier this week rumours were rife about Facebook looking at acquiring cross-platform instant messaging service Whatsapp, but the social networking giants has put an end to all of it by expanding its already existing chat service to encompass IM too. Facebook will be trying to cash in on the fact that using their messenger service will help cut down on the cost of sending out SMSs.
At the Le Web Conference in Paris, Peter Deng, Director of Product at Facebook, said, “The SMS protocol has been around for 20 years. It’s designed for these old phones, and they don’t take advantage of the location features, the touch screen, the picture taking that today’s phones have and that’s why we invested in it.” He added that a lot of people have had to open email accounts just so that they could access Facebook, and the newer version of Messenger will allow more people to benefit from Facebook services without the hassles of signing up.
“As a result of focusing on mobile, for the past year and a half, we've been investing a lot in mobile messaging. We've noticed that people have wanted more than SMS can provide. We want to let people connect with each other and feel like they're in constant communication,” said Deng.
Even though the roll-out is currently for Android and scheduled at a later time for iOS, Facebook is looking to add more feature phones to the fold. Deng noted that the site is accessed by 7,000 different devices every day. He said that Facebook is looking at adding new kinds of users to their kitty; users who have not signed up, yet can access Facebook features like photos. But the focus will remain on messenger for Facebook added Deng.
According to the Director, in India and Indonesia, carriers are going to provide low-cost data plans for people who want to use only Facebook Messenger. Facebook joining the IM fray may just lead to popular apps such as Whatsapp and Kik Messenger suffering in India.
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