You No Longer Need A Facebook Account To Use Facebook Messenger

messengerBecause we all needed another avenue to converse with friends and acquaintances other than actual face-to-face conversations, Facebook has opened its Messenger to people without an account on the social media network.

Facebook announced Wednesday that it took another step to broaden the reach of its Messenger app by allowing anyone to use the service, Reuters reports.

To use the app, people without Facebook accounts can simply enter their phone number, name and a photo. The move puts the service more in direct competitions like Snapchat and WhatsApp, both of which only require users to provide a phone number before they start conversations.

The company says the service – which functions as a standalone platform – has about 600 million users.

Allowing non-Facebook account holders to use the service is just the latest update the social media company has added to the app.

In April, the company added video calling to Messenger.

Before that, in March, Messenger announced it would give users the ability to chat with companies on the app. The idea was to improve customer service by giving people another avenue to receive order information and make other requests. The feature was being piloted with online retailers Everlane and Zulily.

That same month, Facebook launched a payment system over Messenger that let users send money to friends.

Facebook allows users to sign up for Messenger without account [Reuters]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.