Facebook updates messenger app to attract more users
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 04, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Social networking giant
Facebook on Tuesday rolled out its new Messenger app, allowing
mobile phone users without Facebook account to sign up the service
with a phone number.
With no Facebook account and email address required, app with
the new feature will be first available to users of phones running
on Google's Android platform in India, Indonesia, Australia,
Venezuela and South Africa, according to the company.
The sign up option using phone number will be rolled out
globally and its version for users of Apple's iPhone as well as
other smartphone platforms are also under way, said Facebook.
Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software
application which provides text and video communication.
Its mobile version was released last year for major smartphone
platforms, but users need to sign up with a Facebook account.
The latest move is expected to help Facebook reach a larger
audience, attracting smartphone users with no Facebook account to
gradually use more Facebook services.
Meanwhile, Facebook's updated app is also seen as another
challenge against phone carriers' Short Message Service (SMS) as
text messaging turned 20 on Monday.
On Dec. 3, 1992, a British engineer sent the text message "
Merry Christmas" from his personal computer to a phone via the
Vodafone network. Since then, SMS has turned into a high-margin
business for phone carriers and is expected to bring 150 billion
U. S. dollars to the industry in 2013.
However, technology companies like Apple and Blackberry-maker
Research In Motion have been developing their messaging services
over years, offering users to send messages via Wi-Fi or cellular
network with no further fees.
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