December 4, 2012
Facebook turns Messenger into a text message killer
Facebook, which has now passed a billion users, has just announced that it is updating its "Messenger" app for Android so that anyone can sign up using just their name and phone number, and then send messages to Facebook contacts via their data plan, rather than as texts. The Guardian reports.
The app connects the phone number and name to a Facebook account, and validates against that.
The move means that a potentially huge number of smartphone users will be able to pass messages back and forth in much the same way as texting, but without incurring the cost of an SMS as long as they have a data plan or are connected to a Wi-Fi network.
That, in turn, puts Facebook Messenger directly into conflict with SMS and with other "over the top" services such as WhatsApp, RIM's BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's iMessage.
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