Facebook launches Whatsapp-like Messenger app for Android

Facebook has released an app that will see the mega social media site enter into its first login-free messaging service that is looking set to take on free messaging leader WhatsApp and possibly see the end to old school text messaging for good.

This week text messaging has been celebrating its 20th birthday but it may also be the beginning of the end of the line for the platform as the increasingly popular free messaging movement will be thrusted ahead with the backing of Facebook.

Zuckerberg’s company has announced the new Messenger app that will no longer require a Facebook login and will instead ask people to sign in with nothing more than a phone number and a name.

This is very similar to the WhatsApp free messaging service that is currently leading the way on the Android Play Store, but with Facebook now entering the field its easy to see the service taking off.

Facebook already has a messaging system for Android phones as a standalone app and part of its web, mobile and applications, but these only deal with communication through existing Facebook accounts and the new app will contact and scan all users who have a number without a login.

Current leader WhatsApp has previously stated it was sending 10 billion messages a day and had recently gone past the 100 million downloads mark on Google Play. It is consistently on top in the Apple App Store rankings as well.

Apple has its own version of free messaging between iPhone users with iMessage and the original pioneer of free messaging BlackBerry still has a hold on the market with BBM, but it’s WhatsApp that is currently leading the pack as it enables cross platform free messaging.

Earlier in the year Facebook started to integrate phone numbers into its user contacts and on Android users do have the ability to send messages via text to their Facebook friends,  but with the new service Facebook may overtake themselves with an account-free system.

The app has launched initially in a handful of countries including India, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, and South Africa and then Facebook will be launching it internationally. There will also be an iOS version coming to iPhone sometime in the future.

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