Facebook Messenger wants to be your next SMS, competes with Viber and WhatsApp
December 4, 2012, 8:26 A.M., Tuesday, New York local time — Facebook will update its Messeger app for Android, to drop Facebook account requirement to lure new users.
Surprise! Facebook’s messaging service rolls out a new update that might attract new sign-ups. Unlike its previous registration policy, the new app no longer require a Facebook account to sign up, meaning, customers can enjoy chatting with Facebook friends by using the user’s phone number and a name as its main profile.
Facebook’s approach is similar to Viber and WhatsApp, leading to speculation that Facebook is now targeting the SMS being provided by wireless carriers and mobile operating systems such as the iPhone and Android. Unlike the regular SMS which requires a cellular signal, Facebook’s Messenger relies on the internet (or 3G, 2G connection).
In the competitive space of texting or short messaging, ubiquity is one of the key ingredients to survive, and it looks like Facebook’s messaging team is aware of that fact.
According to The Verge, the new Facebook Messenger feature will be limited to countries overseas, yup, United States will have to wait for few more weeks or even months.
The new Facebook Messenger with no Facebook account requirement will hit India, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Venezuela first, followed by other markets soon.
Speaking of Indonesia, it looks like Facebook is giving consumers a new reason to drop the BlackBerry platform and its “iconic” BBM service. Unlike here in the United States, BlackBerry is still popular in Indonesia and even in India, in fact, BlackBerry’s market share in India is bigger than Apple’s iPhone.
Via The Verge.