Facebook is really getting into this standalone apps thing. Facebook Creative Labs currently has eight apps available, and then thereâ€™s those Facebook has acquired like WhatsApp and Instagram.
Now, Facebook is unbundling Messenger. You might be thinking that theyâ€™ve already done that, and youâ€™d be right. Last year, Facebook began requiring users to download a separate app to use the messaging functionality from their smartphones. Now, however, you donâ€™t even have to have a Facebook account at all to use it.
Facebook software engineer Louis Boval said in a blog post on Wednesday, â€œWith Messenger, weâ€™ve been focused on creating the best messaging experience possible by giving people a fun and easy way to connect and express themselves with friends and contacts. If youâ€™re in Canada, the United States, Peru or Venezuela, we are starting to roll out a new way for you to sign up for Messenger â€“ without a Facebook account.â€
â€œWith this update, more people can enjoy all the features that are available on Messenger â€“ including photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, stickers and more,â€ Boval added. â€œAll you need is a phone number.â€
While you no longer need to be a Facebook user to use Messenger, the company doesnâ€™t exactly want you to delete your account to become a Messenger-only user. It notes that those who sign in with their Facebook accounts will have many benefits compared to those who donâ€™t. For example, you can continue to easily message your Facebook friends and contacts, access their FB messages, and utilize multi-device messaging across devices, the web, and tablets.
Earlier this year, Facebook announced some significant expansions to Messenger, turning it into a platform and promising business features that will enable companies to better connect with their customers. Facebook clearly recognizes that businesses arenâ€™t getting the job done in that department with their Facebook pages, as itâ€™s alsotesting some features to help out there too.
Facebook also recently launched a web-based standalone version of Messenger, and Wednesdayâ€™s news suddenly makes that make a lot more sense.