New users will no longer be able to sign-up for Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account, the company has confirmed. Unlike the old days where your phone number was enough, Facebook Messenger now requires a Facebook account to sign up. Existing users, however, remain unaffected by the new change irrespective of whether they have a Facebook account or not.
The news was confirmed to VentureBeat by an official Facebook spokesperson, who said: “If you’re new to Messenger, you’ll notice that you need a Facebook account to chat with friends and close connections. We found that the vast majority of people who use Messenger already log in through Facebook and we want to simplify the process. If you already use Messenger without a Facebook account, no need to do anything”.
However, if multiple posts on social media sites and online message boards are anything to go by, some Messenger users without Facebook accounts seem to be having problems logging into the chat app following the change. Many, like Redditor u/LitheBeep, are apparently receiving error messages while trying to login with their phone numbers. “I can’t login to my Facebook-less Messenger account since it keeps telling me my account is restricted”, they claimed earlier this week.
Facebook’s new move seems to be part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plans to offer an integrated, unified experience across Facebook family of apps – WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. According to him, “People should be able to use any of our apps to reach their friends, and they should be able to communicate across networks easily and securely. We plan to start by making it possible for you to send messages to your contacts using any of our services, and then to extend that interoperability to SMS too”.