A Facebook account is no longer needed for Messenger

In select countries, users can now sign up for Messenger with a mobile telephone number

Facebook's Messenger app across devices, as pictured on July 28, 2014.

Facebook's Messenger app across devices, as pictured on July 28, 2014.

Facebook wants to squeeze as much growth as it can out of its popular Messenger app, even if that means foregoing Facebook.

While previously users had to sign up for Messenger with their Facebook accounts, now, in a few countries, it can be done with just a mobile telephone number. In the U.S., Canada, Peru and Venezuela, users who sign up this way can allow the app to sync with the contacts on their phone so they can easily find people to message.

Along with the phone number, the user's name and photo are still needed to complete the sign-up process.

The same features will be available in the app under the new sign-in process, Facebook said in its announcement, including photos, group chats, voice and video calling. The change applies to Messenger's app on iOS and Android, and the new sign-in feature might arrive in additional countries later.

Messenger currently has more than 700 million users who log in monthly, which is roughly half of Facebook's total monthly user base. A good chunk of Messenger's growth could be attributed to Facebook's decision last year to force users to download the app for mobile chat.

Still, the new Messenger sign-up process could attract more people who don't have Facebook accounts. Messenger is becoming one of the social network's most important products.

At the company's annual developer conference in March, Facebook said it was turning Messenger into a platform for other apps to integrate their software into Messenger. Messenger users can now also send each other money, and interact with online retailers through the app.

And, Facebook recently changed Messenger to give users more granular control over location sharing. Facebook hinted that the change could potentially make way for integrations with ride hailing services like Uber.

Having more users will help Facebook to monetize the growing array of services available in Messenger.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags advertisingmobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesinstant messagingmobilesocial mediainternetFacebook

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?