Facebook has decided to untether their messenger app from their Facebook program, providing those who wish to have that stupid bubble pop up in the middle of everything all the time on your phone or tablet the opportunity to experience this joy without the full data hog that is the Facebook app.
… allow me to continue in a less salty manner.
Users no longer even have to have a Facebook profile. Simply sign up with your first name, last name, and phone number and voila! Facebook Messenger is available. Currently, this is only available in the US, Venezuela, Peru and Canada, but I’m sure it won’t be that way for long.
My first thought about all of this was, how will said person find all of their friends if they don’t have a Facebook profile? Simple, actually. As long as the friends have registered their phone number with Facebook (remember, you can do this and make the information private and visible to only you), the app will root through your contacts, with permission of course, and find everyone in there by their phone numbers.
Messenger has been trying out several new things lately. For instance, the other night I was chatting on FB from my PC, and saw that I had the option to send my friend money. That is not something that I remember being there before, but I rarely use FB chat from my desktop, so what do I know.
Turns out that this little bugger has been around for about 3 months. Go figure. What sets this apart from other stand-alone mobile send-your-friends-money programs is that this feature is free. Yes, there are no fees. However, in order to do that, you can only use Visa or MasterCard, no credit cards as they would charge fees that would them be passed on to you (of course). But, using a debit card would be the norm for most people right? So I don’t really see this as much of a con.
There have actually been several changes. The new web feature, so that you don’t have to leave the app to open an external link. Fiddling with the location feature (which you have to watch out for if you keep yours off, because the fiddling likes to turn it back on without informing you). VOIP calls and the ability to send sound and video clips via the messenger app as well. It’s clear that Facebook has been doing some big things within their market.
Now they want to challenge the market of people who either just haven’t signed up or don’t want to sign up. They want to get as many people on their network as possible, which isn’t going to happen if the people want nothing to do with a social media profile. This is Facebook’s alternative for the social media shunners. they want people to use their messaging app more than they us SMS text messages. I’m not sure it will actually happen, but either way this is a good step in the right direction.
Is anyone else having Pinky and The Brain flashbacks with this one? Just me? Okay…