Messenger drops Facebook account requirement

Facebook Messenger offers more features than chatting, and some use it even if they don't bother with their Facebook account. For those who fall into the latter group, there's good news: the recent Messenger update has brought a handful of changes, the most notable of which is that you no longer require a Facebook account to use the chatting app. Instead, users can just provide their phone number and go from there. The change has arrived with both the Android and the iOS apps.

The change arrived today, and allows those who have no interest in having a Facebook account to use the social network's messaging service, potentially expanding Facebook's reach and encouraging some holdouts to take the full plunge eventually — start with Messenger, then decide to join Facebook.

As you can seen in the screenshots, firing up Messenger for the first time presents a "Not on Facebook?" option that takes users to a screen for signing up with a name and phone number. Of course, if you have a Facebook account you can use that instead, and it is still the preferred method, at least on Facebook's part.

This has benefits for existing Messenger users, too. Maybe you have that one stubborn friend who refuses to sign up for a Facebook account, forcing you to chat with him in a different app. Under this, those staunch rebels will have a way to join the Messenger conversations without taking the Facebook plunge.

SOURCE: Google Play