The Facebook Messenger app was officially launched in 2011.
This is a standalone app designed for Android, iOS and Windows devices. In order to access this service, you will need to download the application from the app store. With Facebook Messenger, you will be able to update your status, share photos, have access to instant messages, comment on your friend’s posts and even make free calls. As at the moment, Facebook Messenger has over 700 million monthly users. Essentially, the Messenger is designed to provide a faster way to communicate with your Facebook friends on the go.
Just like WhatsApp and Viber, Facebook Messenger supports voice calls as well. Voice calls can be made over the internet. The call is absolutely free and can only be used if the other person has installed Messenger on his/her device. Making a VoIP call is really simple. Though the free voice call feature works like a charm, one important feature that the users would like added to the application is video calling. Note that if you are calling your friends, normal data rates apply. So use Wi-Fi always.
You don’t have to agree with everything the app requests
A few critics state that Messenger asks for too much permissions that include,
- Send SMS messages
- Receive text messages
- Read your contacts
- Directly call phone numbers
- Read call log
- Take pictures, and more
It might look like the app wants to violate your privacy, but the access to your contacts would be to allow you to call your friends for free. And access to your device’s camera would be to allow you to take and send pictures to your friends. The good news is that the app lets you limit your exposure. Go to the Settings and turn off permissions that might be violating your privacy.
Ease of Use
The latest version is really quite nice to use. You can send text messages, video, audio, stickers and even emoticons. The interface is clean and simple with intriguing conversation pages. Chatting with friends feels the same as chatting using a desktop browser.
Facebook Messenger has an alert system that is completely customizable. You are the one to decide whether or not you want to receive alert messages. This can be done under “Settings”.
It is very clear that the Messenger is still far behind when it comes to text messaging. Though the app allows you to send messages for free, it is not the only messaging app in this field. For example, WhatsApp announced that it has 800 million users. On the other hand, China-Based IM app WeChat has over 500 million active users. The popularity of the instant messaging apps indicates the changing landscape in texting. So there is need for Facebook to focus more on connecting people through texts.
Overall, the app is very basic and the chat feature looks very simple. The app also offers greater flexibility than many apps out there as it lets the users exchange texts and photos without having to spend a dime.
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