Messenger is a big deal for Facebook. The messaging service has already moved beyond basic chat to become a platform for other apps and money transfers. Now the company is making it easier to use Messenger, even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
Moving forward you’ll be set up a Facebook Messenger account with just your name, phone number and a photo. From there it will act like a basic chat app. Of course you won’t have that huge network of friends built-in, but you’ll still be able to track down anyone saved to your phone’s contact list, assuming they also gave Messenger their own phone number.
For now the feature is limited to Canada, the United States, Peru or Venezuela. Previously, Facebook tried it out in India and a few other countries, where we assume it was a relative success.
What’s next for Messenger? Facebook previously revealed plans to let you shop and chat directly with businesses using the app. That’s still incoming. This latest news also has us thinking the company may eventually combine Messenger with WhatsApp to create one mega chat app, though that’s likely at least a few years off.