Facebook Messenger

At the beginning of the week we asked everyone if they uninstalled Facebook Messenger after the fuss over permissions. Stemming from a nine month old article at the Huffington Post, Facebook was called to the carpet about the crazy-scary long list of permissions they required to install the stand-alone Facebook Messenger app. Phil did a great job of explaining why those permissions were there, and it all comes down to whether or not you trust Facebook with the broad permissions they had to have for their app to run. If you haven't already, be sure to give it a read.

The poll pretty much echoed what we assumed it would. A large portion of Android fans (that would be 38-percent, and many of us, respectively) never had it installed in the first place. And 38-percent of us also said they did not uninstall the app. Another neat number — 2.2-percent, a total of 159 people — uninstalled it then reinstalled it.

You can see a breakdown of the 5-day result below.

Poll results

We're pretty sure that these numbers would be very different if people who don't read about this sort of thing were polled. In the end, we just hope that everyone took a few minutes to learn more about it all, then made an informed decision. Comment's are wide open, let's discuss it.

 

Reader comments

Weekly sidebar poll results: Did you uninstall Facebook Messenger?

134 Comments

Right. Because not trusting a company that has flip-flopped, twisted and obfuscated their privacy policies for years isn't rational.
While the fuss over Facebook's permissions is very late in coming, and overblown and misunderstood in many ways, Facebook's approaches to user data and privacy would optimistically be described as careless or dodgy at the absolute best.

Posted via Android Central App

Plus you have to wonder why move a feature from the main app to a single app. Data collection that isn't fully being disclosed... yeah probably.

Every site approaches this in the same manner, only most don't make it into the spotlight like Facebook. Every site you click "I Agree" owns you..

I use a different email address for every web site I sign up to, by using a pattern-matching email filter. so for example here on AC my address is paul-androidcentral@example.com
I also have a different password thanks to lastpass.

I avoid using Facebook or Google's authentication systems to access websites, specifically to avoid cross-referencing tracking, advertising, data mining and scope for identity theft.

Since my phone is rooted, I used the free precursor to this app
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.stericson.permissions....
to remove permissions from apps I don't think they need.

That's the safe way to do but an effort most (including myself) aren't willing to do. I do use different passwords.

I'd recommend the browser addon Facebook Disconnect. Any website that has a like button on it FB can track your account if you are logged in, and not just if you click it, but just by it being there. The addon blocks the scripting that tracks you and disconnects it from the FB account.

Lol. People worry about Messenger, but have no problems giving up all their data over the Web. Maybe Facebook is evil, but Messenger is the least of their evilness.

Install messenger or don't, you're not giving anything more up by using it.

Posted via Android Central App

I only used messenger anyways. The main app was laggy and I have a laptop to do my main browsing.
Posted via Android Central App

Never used fb messenger, but since now I can't even check when using the app, I've started just accessing it through my browser and I don't really even use the app.

Never seen the issue to begin with, I've always had messenger and Facebook installed. Unfortunately we are now in a society of fear mongering moaners. Some folks just like to whine

Posted via the Android Central App

lol Wait until things get so bad you really dont have any privacy and are forced to use things like facebook. Then we'll see whos moaning in fear. Tinfoil hat... yeah a small one.

Like your privacy?.... Better throw that cell phone away, burn that laptop, stomp that PC, and get your cable company to get rid of all TV and internet service... Oh and don't use a bank card or ATM, cash only so your shopping habits can't be tracked, same with credit cards.

See how silly you can get about this privacy thing, if you don't wanna use messenger and it scares you that much.... Don't use it.

Posted via the Android Central App

I actually do like my privacy hence why I set up useless accounts use VPN's etc. There's protecting yourself as much as you can and then there's just someone posting silly comments without much thought on the interwebz yo.

What exactly are you afraid of? What don't you want the gov to find out that you have on Facebook? Are you a drug dealer or pedophile? If not(and hopefully not), stop your whining.

Posted via the Android Central App

lol Unfortunately its apparent that having strangers with information you only share with the people closest to you is completely lost on people who have accepted that this is "OK"

Not whining or afraid by the way, just stating my opinion on a public internet channel. ;)

Don't share to social media (Facebook in this case) what you don't want millions of others to know. Loyalty card schemes are exactly the same.

Posted via Android Central App

Hmmmmm.. So lets see.. you have nothing to hide from anyone? Messages sent to your family and friends are public domain? Things you may text to co workers and things possibly pertinent to business are all public domain? Have a new idea you want to share with someone, not everyone? Ok.. pass all that.. FB needs permission to send, receive and read text messages they say because they need it to verify accounts that use mobile phones.. But.. why do they need my permission to send a message to me when nobody else does? Follow me here.. I don't need permission to send you a message if I text you or call you so why would an app need it? Also.. why would an app want to read a message? Unless an app is interested in what im sending and receiving. Lets go even further. Why not just send and receive? It's not paranoia, its common sense. Yes your right.. most of our privacy have been taken away by technology and the people who use it for that purpose, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't question or be concerned over such things. I myself want to be able to set an example for my children to follow and possibly make a change rather than just follow the masses and just let things happen. I do not call that moaning, I call that responsible. Oh but that's right you have nothing to hide..

there's privacy and there's secrecy. there are things we all do in private, but it's no secret we do them, and there are things we do in public (go to the bank) but the details of what we're doing are secret.

you don't value your privacy? ok, please tell us

how much you earn

how much tax you pay

how much you donate to charity

how often you have s*x

see? do you want random government officials being able to watch your every move? webcam in your bathroom?

For me out was just a resource hog so I never kept it installed. Had nothing to do with privacy. I wouldn't be on Facebook at all if I were that worried about privacy...

Posted via the Android Central App

I wish I could uninstall it. Unfortunately I know too many people that don't pay for extra text messaging through their cell service and us FB messaging as their primary method of texting.

I don't know anyone who used fb messenger.. That's just weird.. Everyone I know used regular text & what's app. I tried using Hangouts with people, but since Hangouts is the stupidest name you could ever use for a messenger app, people feel corney using it. And with all the other options, it's useless.

It should be called GChat and be the default messenger app for all Android devices.. Seems obvious..

Nexus 4 - CM10.1.3

I was actually able to convince most of my family friends to switch to Hangouts. I haven't received a FB message in months.

Posted via Android Central App

Not only did I not install it, since my phone is rooted I deinstalled the Facebook app that's baked into my ROM.
I understand why Facebook want access to my contacts, messages etc in order to the things it does, but i simply don't want Facebook to be able to mine all my data.
So I access it via the mobile website.

you fail to understand how a web browser differs from the dedicated app.

when accessing the mobile website, it can't mine your calendar, read your phone logs, find what's installed, grab your contacts.

Not... VPN networks can prevent that.. only knows what you type on their site.. blick cookies and they can't track you. Knowledge is power.

If you have safe settings on your browser then no. Web bugs are viruses as well which can be removed. Its how much knowledge of the computer and mobile devices you have. If you know your computer you know the behavior of your computer. People see "FREE" and instantly download or install but nothing is ever free. One way or another that developer or company is getting paid.

You don't want fb to mine your contacts - - I'll wager $50 your have more friends on Facebook than you have contacts your phone.

For what it's worth, I WANT FACEBOOK TO MINE MY CONTACTS ON MY PHONE! I've always thought it would be nice to own Facebook (which is exactly what would happen if they did ANYTHING with days on your phone without permission (and I'm not just talking the permission you give to the app).

Posted via Android Central App

I have seven facebook contacts - brother, two sisters in law, daughter, three people in my village.

I have 1410 contact entries in Google.

Please pay your lost wager of $50 to a charity for homeless children.

So, you have no problem with Google "mining your contact data", but you do with Facebook? Nice...

Posted via Android Central App

And you know, most of the people who freak about privacy are the other way around, they dont want Google to mine their data and couldnt care less but this guy is the opposite. LOL!

The key thing here is honesty.
Google are honest in their naked greed to target adverts at me using my data to try and make them more relevant.Google's data liberation project means I can leave any time i want. Google aren't trying to sell my data.

Facebook on the other hand are sneaky weasels, they want to sell me and my data, they opt me in to features and sharing by default, and all the while pretend to be my friend.

That sounds like the goverment, did you say something about the NSA - Snowden incident?

Plus as you are really blind and not doing your homework if you really think Google isnt selling your data.

I am fully aware of my role in all of this, to be a consumer of adverts.
I am not Google's customer, the advertisers are their customer, I am bait to bring the fish to the feeding zone. Google are selling access to my eyeballs and ears (for youtube) to plant adverts in front of me. They are not selling my personal data, they are selling me as part of an aggregated data set.

Facebook on the other hand want to directly monetise my data, like letting third parties use any photos I post, using me to directly promote other people's products.

The difference is subtle. I am not sure whether you are only half serious in your comments.

Follow the crowd if you must and know no better. Google doesn't sell information they use it. They also ask you straight out if they are allowed to pass your information out to third parties and you can say "NO" Facebook on the other hand does not give the option to opt out of third party transfers ergo google is the lesser of the 2 evils. Once again we all know how these companies make thier money but its the company's that hide thier motives that you have to watch out for. But people who no no better will of course say things like.. "Whats the big deal?"? "They already have me on this App who cares if they have me on that App as well?","You're just being Paranoid!" , "People are just moaners!" Those are the people standing on the roof of the building in the Movie "Independence Day" right before they blow it up... Just saying though

I went ahead and uninstalled it. It came down to me not being able to trust Facebook with that much permission. They have breached users privacy far too many times.

Posted via Android Central App on the Moto X

I have stingy friends who use it for voice calls (and when in crappy coverage areas). I only ever log-in to receive them.

My FB account is otherwise ignored.

I was in Europe and was able to make calls to my family in New York through Facebook messenger. Not only that I was able to IM and send pictures instantly.

Now Skype are owned by Microsoft and implemented NSA-spy-friendly wire-tap technology, I am not sure I can recommend them any more, but they are still the defacto standard for voice & video calling over the 'net, and most people I know have an account.

You've used that same Lame line more than once pacoinurreta and I tend to wonder if your not the pedophile. People have a right to privacy.. even you. What people have to hide or not has nothing to do NSA, CIA, FBI or any other 3 letter agency out there. So unless your willing to post your Salary, Taxes, Write Offs, Affairs, Pictures and Email to the rest of the world then I suggest you do the research and stop asking people if they are pedophiles because since your so obsessed with it, It makes me think that your just looking for like minded people.

Its the first time I say something about others hiding being a pedophile(go search my name and find out) plus I dont have anything to hide, your goverment been spying on mine for decades. People have the right to privacy at home with their stuff but internet is public, there is no privacy.

Once again I will say it.. Knowledge is power. If you've ever gone to a site and seen "https//" in the header, then it means the site is secure.. your bank is online on the Internet, is your account public? There is a reason why apps ask permission and you have to grant it in order to use the app. Your correct in saying The internet in itself is Public Donain as would your city or town be. But the sites and whats on them are not just as your house or apartment would be. Once again, I suggest doing the research and gain understanding.

I uninstalled long before the permissions brouhaha. Once installed, those chat heads are everywhere and dammed hard to get rid of. It's a very intrusive app.

+100 More!

At least it's not hidden like the settings for the main Facebook app (far right menu, scroll way down to App Settings).

Posted via Android Central App

Close minded people that believe in a Lizard ran government Uninstall the fb app because of permissions...

Posted via the Android Central App

Sounds like someone has been drinking too much Kool-Aid...
Facebook has been very dodgy with customer data for years. Given their (successful) attempts to manipulate user moods, they're getting even dodgier.

Posted via Android Central App

Not really.

Knowing why those permissions have to be there is one thing. Each of us need to consider if we think the party requesting them will only do the things they say they are going to do.

You can't knock a person for making an informed decision.

You know I agree with you 100%

The issue at hand is the vast majority of people (not AC users) aren't making informed decisions based on factual information. They're making ignorant decisions because of scary websites telling them Facebook is the devil trying to watch them pee in their shower.

I think the podcast really did a good job summing up the permissions that Facebook needs for the device. Now, whether you trust the company or not, I'd say is a good reason for someone to reasonably uninstall an app. Take you business elsewhere or just decide not to live with it. Personally, sans Instagram, I don't have anything Facebook owned on my phone, because I was tired of all the political discussions and stuff I didn't want to read. It's hard to keep your mind off stuff when you over-think things and you get a lot of horrid news with each scroll of you mouse.

If you use Facebook, I encourage you to take a break from it. If you don't want to get rid if it, just try a week or so off. You might find that it makes your day just a little bit easier.

+1 I deactivate my Facebook every few months for a week or two just to get a break. Unfortunately I always come back because that's sometimes the only way to stay in contact with most of my international friends. But I do get tired of all the stupid discussions and debates and 'memes' that have been copied ten times over and arent funny anymore.

Never cared for it, I use hangouts. I only have a few people on FB that use it, so I am lucky. Now I just have to get them switch to Hangouts.

No. But I'm tempted to because the people that message me I often don't want to talk to lol

Posted via my OnePlus One

Never installed it.get annoyed at being prompted to all the time too. I rarely use fb i. General anymore. Simply for the fact that they prove time & again they overstep the mark.
Web and apps, always throwing ads at us, making settings hard to find/adjust. The only true control people have is whether to use it or not.
If my friends weren't on it, I'd cancel my account.
I much prefer Google+, far better experience & I control what I want to see

Posted via the Android Central App

"Never installed it, get annoyed at constantly being prompted to. "

Funny, I feel the same every time a game tries to get me to create a Google + (shudders) account. Enough already trying to force needless bloat

Posted via the Android Central App

I think the results speak volumes... 60% uninstalled or never installed the app. Only about one third actually want/use it. Facebook brought that response on through years of sketchy behavior.

Posted via the Android Central App

See here's the thing though, The readership of Android Central represents such a small and focused percentage of the 1.3 Billion people who use facebook every month (and even the well north of 500 million that use it on a mobile device) that in relation to the population of Facebook as a whole there is no way that this AC poll is statistically relevant.

It's like trying to take a poll of "favorite sci-fi series" at a star trek convention.

As well as a skewed readership on this site, the poll was also missing the "don't use Facebook" option, so you'll have people who don't use Facebook checking the "never installed it" box. If Jerry had included that option the results would be a little more meaningful.

Posted via Android Central App

Guys--there are a SLEW of apps out there that ask for these permissions. You'd be suprised. They sound scary but in reality they are nothing. For one, some apps have to access the call log. "WHY?!" you may ask. Well, it needs to know when you are in a call to shut off certain services that it runs, etc. Stupid little stuff. And yes, the government has been found to be spying on us...don't know what they are looking at...all they are seeing is people sitting on the toilet playing Angry Birds. To be honest they are never going to quit.

+10000

Facebook has become the poster child for it, unfairly. Any app that can communicate with another person has to have almost exactly the same permissions.

And better yet, what kind of privacy are you expecting if you put every little detail of your life on the Internet? You really think no one is going to get access in this day and age?

 

I just have a link to the full site and access messages that way on those rare occasions I need to.

Posted via Android Central App

This mirrors actual issues in the world. The majority rely on the entertainment industry (including the MSM) to tell them what to think. The masses are so very ignorant.

Posted via Android Central App

The messenger in the fb app worked fine for what I used it for. Don't like being forced to install another app that I dont need in the first place . - fb message notification .. Opens fb mobile on google chrome and responds. I don't want anything the new messenger has to offer.

Posted via Android Central App and my Moto X

Uninstalled for reasons other than permission, I don't want two Facebook apps that the one should do alone. Don't force me to have a second to read a message sent to my inbox on Facebook. I'll just stop using my inbox.

Posted via Android Central App

LOL... all the hoopla for a app/company that most people willing give their personal information too anyways. I understand that there are some background things going on here that may not be known to the novice user. Lets keep things in perspective here though. We are talking about a social media company that is used to connect people and uses information to suggest people that you may have gotten out of touch with. If people are scared of others knowing information about them they shouldn't be using social media. Not bashing others that feel Facebook has crossed the line but think about what Facebook is used for is all.

My fb app still works and gets messages so what am I missing here??

Posted via Android Central App

I have uninstalled it today - but not because of any permissions worries - instead I have uninstalled it because despite never having used it today - it still consumed 33% of my battery :/

As a general rule:
If you don't know what a company makes but it is always trying to get your data; you or your data is their product.

Facebook.

The poll was missing an option: "No, but I did uninstall the regular FB app".

Seriously, the Messenger app does exactly what it is supposed to, is fast, and useful for just messaging. I uninstalled the main FB app, and my phone's battery has never been happier.

I think it's funny how those who like fb defend them even when they admit to the bs they pulled.

These folks are more brainwashed than Apple fanatics.

I said in the original story comments on this it is a matter of trust...and imho, if anyone really trusts a company when they know that they skewed the information that they feed you just for their own experiment,is just the gullible type of users they want. Ones that never question unethical behavior.

Posted via Android Central App on my HTC M8

honestly facebook is no more or less trustworthy than google and the vast majority of people here don't seem to have a problem with what google does with our information.

The reality is that I fully recognize that my life just isn't exciting enough for me to care that Facebook knows that i clicked "like" on something and then uses that to then target an ad that I don't read when I look at the website.

No, Google and Facebook handle data so differently. Comparing the two is dishonest.

Posted via the Android Central App

FB messenger is just faster than texting to me.. Especially when sending pics. I've had family & friends send me pics and I never received them.. Especially when they have a different carrier..

Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5

I only have it installed to contact one person who used it. My friends had it and they had to uninstall it due to it causing issues with their phones (RAZR HD and galaxy S4). Has anyone else had it cause issues with their phone?

Posted via Android Central App

I do not understand the whole "Facebook is going to mine all my data! Oh no!" dealio. Mine it for what? Ads. Which you can block with AdBlock+.

I mean... Are people worried that Facebook is going to steal their identity and ruin their credit? Or that someone is going to hack Facebook and get your home address and come murder you?

I'm not concerned about it all. I'm not sure I need to be. It's just advertising. Right?

Posted via Android Central App

I just installed it because the chat heads are so annoying, and I didn't feel like disabling them because I can just use the regular Facebook app.

Posted via Android Central App

Agreed on the chat heads feature, I hated the fact that clicking on a notification didn't open up the chat, it just made the chat head show up.

I don't see the point in using it. If I want to text someone I send a traditional text. All of these other texting apps seem pointless to me. Of course I am an old fart, and have trouble understanding why the kids these days do what they do.

Posted via Android Central App

My wife and I often work different shifts. If she's at home, she would rather type at a computer than on her phone, so we use facebook messenger.

I *installed* it for the first time last weekend. If I was that concerned with Facebook's privacy policies, I wouldn't be using Facebook at all. Better support for Wear enticed me (as well as removing messenger support in the regular app).

The way I see it is that this only came to light once Facebook started making the Messaging app separate from the main app. You'd think people would have noticed the main app's permissions far sooner than this and posted the same FUD about it.

.... Then again, anyone who uninstalls the Messenger app better do the same for the regular Facebook app as well for the same reason.

Posted via Android Central App

Because it's their service, and they get to set the terms on how people use it. Want to use Facebook's messenger service? Download the app. Same as any other app/service.

Unfortunately, I did uninstall. I then re-installed it but it is a slightly different version than the one that came on the G3.

I have nothing against Facebook messenger but I just hate the fact I need both apps. I wish they could just combine both.. But I doubt that would do any good to a already battery hungry app.

Don't want to suck battery so much then don't have it sync and use location services so much.

Posted via Android Central App

I just hate having another icon taking up space on my home page when I already had the functionality in an icon that already existed. Just my 2cemts.

Posted via Android Central App

I had installed the messenger app but have since uninstalled it, not because of the privacy issues though. My phone battery runs roughly 12 hours ( I have a lot of roaming area where I am) with the app installed, it cut my battery life down to about 4 hours. I am a truck driver and a safety precaution of my company is no AC charging ports in the truck soooo. The app kills my battery in 4 hours and for the next 4 hours hopefully I don't break down someplace, because my phone is now dead. You can't shut the app off because it's constantly monitoring your FB acct for messages.

One, stop using Facebook if you really care about privacy. Two, don't use your real personal information if you're afraid for your life. Three, don't send too intimate photos to your special friend. If you still want your privacy, then don't do shameful things. We all know how these sites work. If you are worried that you have classified secrets that could affect the whole nation and you shared over your friends on Facebook, then don't use it. No offense but we can't just sit down and complain. we need conscious effort to protect ourselves. these sites are after their profit not your privacy. Use VPN (https://www.bestvpnservicemag.com/vpn-providers-reviews/) to temporarily hide your identity but if you're into illegal activities, yeah, you have plenty of reasons to get scared.