Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) is venturing into the SMS text messaging business, as is clearly indicated by its Facebook Messenger app made available to a broader set of users. The app for the Android version in certain places, even allows people without Facebook accounts to sign up for the service – all they need is a name and phone number.
The Messenger app for Facebook earlier allowed users to interact with others on the site via instant chat. The Messenger app was an individual app outside the main Facebook app, but it focused only on messages, mostly for people who are constantly exchanging messages through phones.
The sole purpose of the app was to make users turn to the app instead of the main SMS. The hitch lay in talking to others without a Facebook account. The issue has been tackled, because Facebook is now designing a separate registration process focused on messaging. This venture outlines a nascent but promising area of growth for the social network.
Facebook becomes yet another name to challenge SMS texting services of telecommunications giants such as AT&T and Verizon, which are already facing threats due to startups such as WhatsApp, Pinger, TextPlus and also from Google Voice and Apple‘s iMessage, which allow free messages outside of the traditional SMS service. Facebook also allows the sending of images free of cost.
As of now, the Facebook messaging feature is available in
India, Australia, Indonesia,
Venezuela and South Africa.
Facebook can also get new users on Messenger and transition them to Facebook
and get new members, in some of these international markets.