Facebook Inc(NASDAQ:FB) is planning on spoiling the 20th birthday celebrations of SMS with the release of its updated Messenger for its Android app that intends to kill SMS.
Facebook has announced on Tuesday that users would no longer need an FB account to use its Messenger feature for Android app. Anyone can sign up for the Messenger service with their phone numbers and names.
People, who sign up with their mobile number, will be able to send text messages to their contacts on Facebook through their data plan, instead of text messages. They will also be able to send messages to other friends through the app without a Facebook account.
Facebook said that one just needs to install the application and tap on ‘Get Started’ to reach their contacts faster, share pictures, start group conversations and much more.
The announcement comes at a time when there are vague rumors of Facebook seeking to buy the popular social messaging service, Whatsapp.
Conversely, the announcement on Tuesday from Facebook debunks the speculations since the social network has released its very own rival to the multi-faceted messaging app that has the feature of sharing images and starting group conversations.
Facebook Messenger can be downloaded for free from Google Play. It is not yet clear whether the update will be available on the iOS app of Facebook too.
Menlo Park, Facebook based in California stated that the social networking site is doing this since it is serious about messaging and it is aware of the fact that restricting the reach to just the people on Facebook limits the capability of people to contact anyone in their address book.
The Facebook Messenger app is intended to challenge the present messaging protocols that are based on mobile carriers and the one that come in the way of true communication, as told by product manager for Messenger at Facebook, Peter Deng at Le Web conference held in Paris.
The upgraded app will be available in Venezuela, India, Australia and South Africa. The company will extend the feature in other countries soon.