Facebook Messenger is a popular way for Facebook users to communicate with their Facebook friends. But apparently, Facebook Messenger wants to be more than that. Facebook recently removed the account restrictions on its Messenger app for Android and other mobile devices, which means that anybody can use the app to communicate with their friends.
Confused? Here’s how the new system works:
-Users sign in with their name and phone number
-Users can send messages and send them to other contacts
-You send messages to other users who have also signed into Facebook Messenger using their phone number
-No Facebook account is required
Facebook’s goal is to replace SMS text messaging. Today, text messaging feels pretty primitive compared to messenger-powered methods of communication. Services like Facebook Messenger and others make it extremely easy to add pictures, videos, and other features to your messages without being restricted to a certain character limit.
Facebook’s secondary goal is to get more people to sign up for Facebook. Although Facebook use is pretty ubiquitous in North America, it’s not quite as ubiquitous in other parts of the world. Which is why Facebook Messenger’s new phone number sign-in is only available in restricted parts of the world.
Not available in North America…yet
For whatever reason, non-Facebook access to Messenger is restricted to only a few countries. At the moment, only Android users in Australia, South Africa, Indonesia, and Venezuela have access to the feature. And iOS users don’t have access to the feature at all.
Did Facebook decide to throw darts at a map of the world to decide where to first unveil their new feature? Who knows. But you can expect Android users in other parts of the world to start receiving the Messenger update sometime in the near future.