Is Facebook trying to kill the SMS – which turned 20 yesterday – and compete with free services such as iMessage, WhatsApp and BBM? It certainly looks like it.

The company announced recently that Android users no longer need to sign in with a Facebook account in order to use its Facebook Messenger chat client. There’s one major catch, however. Facebook’s only launching the new update in select countries, including South Africa, Venezuela, Australia, Indonesia and India at first. It has plans to spread the capabilities to other countries “as quickly as possible,” according to The Verge, but there’s no word on when it will be available in the United States or Europe just yet. An update is planned for iOS devices at some point, too.

Facebook needs to generate revenue as a public company to appease shareholders, so we’re wondering how long until ads appear.

[via The Verge]