Starting today, you no longer need a Facebook account to use Facebook Messenger.

Yes, you read that right. With this unexpected move they are now entering the hotly contested arena of SMS replacement apps. All you need to start is a name and phone number, and you can communicate with anyone in your contact list.

Facebook Messenger’s main competitors, WhatsApp and LiveProfile, are both multi-platform apps that have a large and cemented user base, but with a big-name competitor entering the market I do forecast a shake-up in the near future. The difficult part will be trying to pry people away from their current messaging medium of choice. The iOS faithful rely heavily on iMessage (although that is limited to Apple’s ecosystem) and the shrinking but still significant percentage of Blackberry users still swear by BBM. A launch of the new Messenger on Android followed by iOS could cause a lot of damage.

This move hits at an opportune time. With data plans becoming cheaper and more popular every day, it could be only a matter of time before SMS dies out completely. Facebook wants to dominate the messaging world, and this is may be the first step to that end.

Is Facebook Messenger going to become your primary messaging app? Or do you prefer something else, like Google+? Let us know in the comments!

Tanay Sood
Tanay is a sophomore at Rutgers University studying Business Analytics and Information Technology. A veteran prowler of the XDA forums, his current phone of choice is Nexus 4. You will usually find him scouring the web for new ROM's to flash or new sitcoms to watch.
  • chanman

    Useless to me. Most of the people I use these messaging systems for are in China… where Facebook is blocked. WhatsApp all the way. I still do use Facebook Messenger for keeping in touch with people though.

    Also, most people in the states still prefer using text messaging. They’ll stare at you like you have two heads if you suggest a new app that takes advantage of their existing data plans like “why don’t you just text?”. It’s unfortunate because if everyone uses one of these services, it has great positive externalities of saving everyone some money. But it’s hard to change old habits. It’s why iMessaging is so successful – because you don’t actually have to use a different app to do it. It requires no thought.

  • chris

    So, what, this just themes your messenger app like Facebook or does it actually add functionality?

  • RarestName

    BBM Messenger, Line, WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, iMessage and now this?

  • Nam

    yes it does

  • facebook alwayz roxXxX………

  • Pros and cons to using apps for SMS. Not just us Americans but the world should think.

    Pros: Cheap and virtually free.
    Done: without a data signal you won’t receive the messages.

    SMS cons :additional 20$ even on your bill for a service which should only cost 5 for unlimited SMS.
    Pros: it doesn’t rely on data therefore more accessible in dead zones

  • mjolnir

    im fine with whatsapp, line, gchat, kakao, and just recently kik. i really dont need another one… i just wished all my friends would use a single app so i dont have to keep switching between people.

  • PeterPi

    Hike is released now in Germany, within 6 days all countries should have it. It has a great security concept…and I don’t think, that FB will protect the security of us users in the same way

  • I read an article here saying facebook was trying to buy whatsapp. Did the deal fail?

  • In long run this may be a smart move from facebook. Microsoft bought skype and is planning to merge it together with their own msn messenger. Competition will be hard and only time will tell which one will be the new instant messaging standard.