Facebook has had a messaging system for quite a while now, which has even manifested itself as a separate app on mobile devices, and has even seen Skype integration in which Facebook users can chat with Facebook friends via Skype. While those are different platforms in which Facebook users are able to access the feature, it does require the user to have a Facebook account, and considering that Facebook serves about 1 billion active users daily, this isn’t really that big of an issue. Well it looks like Facebook is looking to expand its Messenger service and has recently announced that they have revamped the Facebook Messenger service.
So what’s new with Messenger, you ask? One big difference – users of the service no longer require the need for a Facebook account, just a phone number and a mobile phone. In fact it does not even need to be a smartphone, and according to Facebook’s director of communications product manager, Peter Deng, feature phones will do just fine. The service is currently only available in South Africa, India, Australia, Argentina and Venezuela, and Deng is hoping that with Facebook Messenger now longer requiring a Facebook account, more people will turn to their service over regular SMS. The service will be ad-free and ultimately Facebook is hoping that even though no Facebook account is required, ultimately it will draw users to its network, especially in developing markets.
At the moment there are a variety of instant messaging apps that have the potential or have already replaced SMS. This include apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, KaoKao Talk, ChatON, BBM, and etc. Perhaps this newly revamped Facebook Messenger service was what gave credence to the rumors that the social networking giant could be interested in the instant messaging business by acquiring WhatsApp.