The proliferation of Facebook’s Messenger app in smartphone around the world has grown at an exponential rate, and now users will be able to use the app without a proper Facebook account. Currently one in every seven people in the world has a Facebook account, and while not all of them are using the chat app, Facebook wants to expand to a non-Facebook user base. The Messenger app had 600 million active monthly users as of March 2015.
Beginning Wednesday, Messenger will allow signups on iOS and Android without the use of a Facebook account. Starting with the U.S.A., Canada, Venezuela, and Peru, users who open the app will see an option that reads “Not on Facebook?” that will allow them to sign up with their names, email, and photo. The goal here is to reach out to a wider demographic audience, and slowly become the leader in cross platform messaging, something that companies like WhatsApp (now owned by Facebook), viber, kik, and others have been trying to do.
“We feel it’s the best messaging app and we think everyone should have the opportunity to use it,”said David Marcus, the vice president of messaging services at Facebook. “We all have examples of people in our lives who are not on Facebook but would want to have the Messenger experience. It’s really important that we can serve those people and enable them to try out Messenger for themselves.”
While reaching out to those Facebook deniers or quitters may seem like an earnest offer, the reality is, if you don’t have a Facebook account, and you are suddenly talking more directly to all your friends on Facebook through Messenger, you might just get a Facebook.
Messenger is fighting tooth and nail to become the No. 1 messaging app on the market. It has added voice messages, calling, image sharing, and recently even Venmo-type payments. It is also one of the few apps to be downloaded over a billion times on Android.
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