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!