You can now sign up for Facebook messenger without having a Facebook account.
In another sign of the power of the smartphone, users won’t even require an email address. Disappointingly for UK users, the service is currently only available in Canada, the US, Peru, and Venezuela.
In a blog post, Facebook said:
With this update, more people can enjoy all the features that are available on Messenger – including photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, stickers and more. All you need is a phone number.
Messenger isn’t Facebook’s only dog in the instant messaging fight. Facebook bought Whatsapp for $19bn (Then £11.4bn) – considered by many a bargain price for a service with 800m monthly active users.
Facebook messenger is no slouch either – in December last year it had 500m monthly users.
At the time, Peter Martinazzi, Facebook’s director of product management, said:
Messaging is an important part of how people stay connected and since Messenger launched in 2011 we’ve been passionate about giving people a faster and more expressive way to communicate.
his is an exciting milestone but with a half billion people relying on Messenger to communicate and connect, it is also a reminder that there is so much left for us to do.