Facebook Launches Messenger App: WhatsApp Killer?

By Khurram Aziz | Dec 05, 2012 11:41 AM EST

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

Facebook has joined the growing number of companies offering a messaging service for smartphones. The social networking site has announced a new messenger app for Android phones which allows users, including those without a Facebook account, to send and receive messages to and from anyone with a phone number.

Follow us

Facebook Messenger will allow mobile phone owners with a data connection to communicate without the use of SMS text messaging - which itself celebrated its twentieth anniversary this week. It will also join other platforms such as Apple's iMessage, RIM's BBM, Google's GChat, and WhatsApp, to allow free messaging on smartphones.

The news follows earlier reports that suggested that Facebook was looking to buy WhatsApp - a service which claims over a billion messages sent by its reported 250 million users, every day.

Facebook's app will put it in direct competition with WhatsApp and help the site grow its more than 1 billion active users to the "next billion", a strategy laid out by Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in an interview with BusinessWeek in October.

"The big thing is obviously going to be mobile," said Zuckerberg. "There are 5 billion people in the world who have phones." 

That mantra has been repeated by Peter Deng, Facebook's director of communications product management.

"We're thinking about mobile first," Deng said at Le Web in Paris this week, as reported by CNET. "It turns our development philosophy on its head."

Facebook Messenger allows users to register and identify themselves using just their phone number, without the need for a Facebook account. Like WhatsApp, the messenger allows users to start group conversations and share photos and is being launched in partnership with mobile phone carriers across the world.

The company said it will begin rolling out the app on devices in Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela, with other countries to follow shortly. It will also launch an iOS version for iPhone users soon.

This venture isn't Facebook's first foray into the world of smartphones and apps. In April, the company paid $1 billion for Instagram - an app which allows users to take pictures with their handset, add filters, and instantly share them on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

The new Facebook Messenger app can be downloaded free from Google Play.

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

Join Our Conversation

The HTC logo is seen with different devices from the brand HTC M10 Perfume Launching A Month Later After MWC 2016
Lava Unleashes New P7 Device Into The Indian Market
New Disney Phone Coming To Japan
Xiaomi Locks Redmi Note 3, Mi 4c And Mi Note Pro; Others To Follow Suit?
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8 Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Amazon Logo Amazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC Logo HTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google Downtime Google blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
ZTE's new lease program ZTE’s new Lease-to-own Program for Mobile Devices
LG’s G Pay to Take on Google, Samsung and Apple
Facebook: Taxes in the UK and a new Shopping tab
Samsung’s VR Headset to be Released at $99, Hulu Jumps Onboard with Apps Ready

Most Popular

© 2016 IBT Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.mobilenapps