Facebook's efforts to separate its Messenger service from its social network platform is set to get a shot in the arm. Soon, new users will be able to sign up for Messenger even if they do not own a Facebook account.
The new update, to be rolled out in the United States, Canada, Peru and Venezuela first, is the first since Facebook introduced a new video calling feature on Messenger towards the end of April.
Once an account is opened by a new user who doesn't use Facebook, the app will sift through his phone contacts and connect him with friends whose numbers match with the numbers updated in their Facebook profiles. Thus, similar to Whatsapp, Messenger will let people connect with each other on the basis of their phone numbers.
This update comes at a time when only 600 million out of a total base of 1.4 billion users of Facebook use the Messenger feature, and should help new users get in touch with their friends who are on Facebook.
However, the new feature doesn't bring anything new to users as people can make connections through phone numbers on Whatsapp as well.
Back in March, Facebook introduced a new Messenger Platform for developers and a ‘Businesses on Messenger’ offering for businesses. Through Businesses on Messenger, businesses can focus on building a greater online presence. You will be able to make orders, track packages, make changes, give feedback and ask questions through Messenger. This will ensure you will never have to call up a business again and every interaction will be documented.
Developers will also build apps for Messenger using which you will be able to share photos, animated GIFs and audio among other media, making Messenger the most comprehensive and inclusive interactive platform in the world.
Facebook Messenger currently trails Whatsapp by 200 million users that makes space for a lot more investment and innovation if it needs to keep its head above the water.