Facebook Messenger boots own signup system for name, phone number on Android

 facebook messenger android

In the wake of acquisition rumors that WhatsApp refuted, Facebook is chugging along with its own Messenger service.  Soon, you’ll no longer need a Facebook account to use the app, but can instead sign up with your name and phone number – provided you have an Android phone.

At least initially, this update will only be available for Android, and it’s available immediately to a select number of countries including Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela. It will be rolled out to other countries shortly.

Mobile phone owners now might find the platform more attractive to use for messaging friends and family since it no longer forces users to connect with their Facebook accounts. But like other messaging apps, the app requires users to sign up with their phone numbers in addition to their names so that Facebook is able to pull the contact information from the native contact list on your smartphone. It helps to sync your contact list to find out whether someone else is using the app already.

If you send a message to someone that doesn’t have Facebook Messenger downloaded or isn’t logged into Facebook, Facebook will notify the recipients to download Messenger.

The social network isn’t holding back either. Its aggressive uncharacteristic strategy is evidence to the Facebook’s vested interest and willingness to invest in Messenger at whatever the cost may be. With competing messaging apps in the market that boast tens of millions to an upwards of hundreds of millions of users, Facebook’s time to capitalize on its users and platform really is right now.

There’s a lot of busy to be had with third party messaging systems, and Facebook is looking to capitalize while the time is right and before the competition gets any thicker. There’s a good chance that friends or family are already on Facebook, meaning that there’s a good chance that they have Facebook Messenger on their mobile devices already. That alone lessens the burden of convincing users to adopt Messenger.

But ultimately it’s the rebranding of Facebook’s messaging app that’s going to be critical to Messenger’s success. Facebook wants users to think of the app as an SMS alternative, but until today Messenger was a messaging platform like AIM and Google Chat that happened to be optimized for a mobile device. It doesn’t help that Facebook Messenger is in reality one package posing as three different products. The mobile messaging app is to become an SMS app, its messaging feature on the Web app was branded as an email client, while the chat column you find on the right side of your profile page is an in-app chatting product.

This update to the iOS app is in the works, but no details have been released about the release.

Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Computing

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Smart Home

Facebook Portal and Portal+ video-calling devices gain new content and features

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Walkie-talkie voice messaging finally comes to Instagram

In its latest grab from messaging apps, Instagram now lets you send walkie-talkie style voice messages. Apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and iMessage have offered the feature for some time.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.