Facebook Messenger Won't Require A Facebook Log-in Anymore

One step closer to replacing your texting app.

The Facebook Messenger app split off from the main Facebook experience in April 2014 and since then has grown into a force of its own. It's a combination messaging, e-commerce and video-calling service that offers much more than a traditional texting app — emojis included. Now there's more to sweeten the deal: Messenger won't require a Facebook log-in anymore.

That means people who dislike Facebook can use the app, a subtle yet major shift that signals Facebook's growing desire to replace traditional SMS (short message service) texting. The company already has 700 million monthly users on Messenger, but needs even more to get close to widespread use. Allowing users to sign up without a Facebook log-in opens up a huge market of people who can't or don't want to access Facebook.

Of course, allowing those who don't have accounts is also a way to rope them into getting one. Software engineer Louis Boval wrote in the official announcement, "There are many benefits to using your Facebook credentials when signing up for Messenger. People can easily message with their Facebook friends and contacts, access their Facebook messages and take advantage of multi-device messaging across mobile devices, the web and tablets." Essentially, if you want the full power of Messenger at your disposal, you'd be wise to sign up for Facebook.

And once you get a taste of Messenger, it might be difficult to resist diving in for the full experience. It's a smart play by one of Silicon Valley's giants, one that could ultimately make them that much bigger down the road.

Cover image: Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr