Facebook allows Messenger signups with no account, expands its IM service past the social network

Daniel Bader

December 4, 2012 10:04 am

Facebook has announced today that it will allow users with no account to sign up for its Messenger IM service using just a phone number. This puts it right in the same market as WhatsApp, Pinger and many other services that bypass traditional SMS by using data.

Recently, it was rumoured that Facebook would purchase WhatsApp to bolster its place in the instant messenger space, of which the world’s biggest social network wants a larger piece. Facebook for Android already allows users to use the app as their main messaging portal, and this just goes one step further.

After signing up, Facebook will securely upload a list of your contacts to their servers — WhatsApp and Kik do this, too — to match up your address book with existing Facebook users, and will spit out a list of names you can interact with.

This functionality is coming first to Android today, and iOS in the coming weeks.

Download Facebook Messenger for Android.
Via: TechCrunch

  • deltatux

    Not sure why I would want to use this over WhatsApp, Kik, LiveProfile, Pinger and the list goes on and on and on… None of these services are compatible with one another. I’m sticking to SMS since it’s universally available and it costs basically nothing anymore since almost all Canadian carriers include them in their basic packages these days… some even include unlimited global texting too!

    • Karan

      @deltatux.. Do you know what they are packaging text messages into value packs, because that’s the only way they can people to pay to for texts. Usage rate for standard text message aren’t the same since the smartphones arrived. Why would I pay $25 bucks for a value pack with cheap ( not free mostly) international msessages when I can use whatsapp to message anyone around the world using my wifi at no extra cost(small data usage).

    • Karan

      Do you know why they are packaging text messages into value packs, because that’s the only way they can people to pay to for texts. Usage rate for standard text message aren’t the same since the smartphones arrived. Why would I pay $25 bucks for a value pack with cheap ( not free mostly) international msessages when I can use whatsapp to message anyone around the world using my wifi at no extra cost(small data usage)

    • deltatux

      There are carrier packages from Fido, Koodo, Virgin Mobile, Mobilicity and WIND that comes with International texting for free…

      If International texting is important, maybe it’s time to switch carrier if your current one doesn’t have it?

      I’m not saying that services like WhatsApp aren’t good, but to say that it costs more to text, I’d say otherwise, especially in Canada.

  • ringer

    I have used whatsapp since its beta days and love it. Mixed feelings about Facebook possibly purchasing them… On one hand it will expand its user base which is nice, but on the other hand, Facebook may butcher the app…

  • Karan

    Would still rather use whatsapp than facebook messenger because the interface is a lot easier to use and navigate. Whats app loads way faster than facebook messenger.

  • Dalex

    Coming to Android first and IOS in the coming weeks, that has a nice ring to it, hopefully we see more and more of that.

    Until they have a unified and universal platform agnostic solution, I’d rather just text. It’s much easier and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have unlimited texting.

  • gogakhan

    Whatsapp is still a better service. Fb messenger is full of hiccups and loosing messages and what not. Won’t stick to it unless there’s no way to contact someone without using Fb messenger.

    Whatsapp has a more matured app and a gazillion users. Fb is late to the game on this one. But knowing their command over Social Networking, guess Whatsapp and everyone else will be in trouble.

  • iFizzle

    Facebook = Lamebook… waiting for the new fad to come through so I can adopt it for a while and then get bored of it, then move on…

  • migo

    I don’t see any value in using this.

    The best thing for everyone would be to move to using VOIP, the biggest barrier there is most VOIP services don’t support SMS, so you’d need to use some other service, but the most popular ones require a mobile phone with SMS confirmation. That’s annoying for two reasons – one, even if you’re at a computer and have a full keyboard, you still need to use your phone, and two, you couldn’t just use a data plan or wifi to communicate.

    I’d rather an IM service that lets you use phone number as one means of finding another contact, rather than one that uses it as the only means of finding another contact.

  • andy c

    @deltatux

    if you are outside of canada you can still use whatsapp/kik to send messages provided you have a data/wifi connection. the carriers will charge an arm and a leg to send an receive messages outside of canada.

    the only people i really txt are my parents and sister. everyone else i know uses whatsapp.

    can someone explain to me how companies make money off these messaging services? i understand why facebook, google and microsoft have them because the hope is you will use there other services.
    for whatsapp and kik what’s the business model?

    • Dizzle

      @andy c : Whatsapp makes money from iOS users purchasing the app. I believe its free for Android and other mobile OS’s and past research has shown that iOS users cough up money a lot easier than Android users.

  • Paul

    Don’t have any reason to use this. Texting nationally serves my purpose just fine and is included with my plan. Just another reason for Facebook to get their hands on my data to try and sell me something. Ads will come with anything Facebook has tied to it.

  • Matthieu

    I’m waiting for BBM to go cross-platform.
    Seriously, it’s coming.

  • ChrisArchitect

    gah, hate all this whatsapp praise…

    only reason WhatsApp exists is because ppl had to reach their non-smartphone friends & everyone jumped on it to bridge the cell net SMS gap.
    Faster people get their heads around ip-based messaging, SMS can die and no need for whatsapp or being identified by your number

    • migo

      WhatsApp can’t reach anyone who doesn’t have the app. It’s no different from any other service. The only difference is it takes advantage of people’s misunderstanding of how it works, so it seemed more attractive (and it had a catchy name).

  • Kevin

    Google Talk is based on the same open standard as the Facebook messenger (Jabber or XMPP). Unlike Facebook, Google didn’t block federation to hobble the standard, so anyone with a jabber account on any server (even their own) can talk to gtalk users.

    That’s the right way to use open standards rather than Facebook’s “only users of our system can talk to each other so we keep all the data” approach.

  • Dave

    Rim … Take notes!
    oh well! They’re too r****d or too greedy to figures that out, sad case.

  • john cena

    is there privacy exploitation as well in the messenger part of fb? lol maybe
    you post a pic. facebook owns it
    you write a msg. facebook reads it