Facebook Messenger no longer requires a Facebook account. Starting today, new Messenger users in the US, Canada, Venezuela and Peru can sign up using a full name and phone number.
Messenger can still be used with a Facebook account; new users will see a “Log In With Facebook” button on the start screen, which imports contacts and links to their Facebook account.
Facebook also encourages signing up with Facebook so users “take advantage of multi-device messaging across mobile devices, the web and tablets.” That suggests signing in with a name and phone number won’t sync your chats across devices.
Facebook says the aim is to reach more people. It’s worth noting that while creating a Messenger log-in won’t import contacts, the rest of Messengers services like video chat and stickers remain available.
Using Messenger without a linked Facebook account may make it more enticing for businesses as well. At its F8 conference earlier this year, Facebook debuted Messenger Business as a means to get consumers and brands or stores chatting. Not giving up a Facebook profile may make it more enticing to users, and a business could link any phone number to Messenger.
➤ Sign Up for Messenger, Without a Facebook Account [Facebook]