What you need to know
- Facebook will no longer allow new users to sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account.
- The company says users who already use Messenger without a Facebook account can continue using it without having to do anything.
- Facebook had introduced the ability to sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account in 2015.
Facebook is removing the ability to sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account. This means all new users who sign up for Messenger will have to use their Facebook account, instead of a phone number.
Confirming the change in an email sent to VentureBeat, a Facebook spokesperson wrote:
If you're new to Messenger, you'll notice that you need a Facebook account to chat with friends and close connections. We found that the vast majority of people who use Messenger already log in through Facebook and we want to simplify the process. If you already use Messenger without a Facebook account, no need to do anything.
If you have already signed up for Messenger without a Facebook account, you should be able to continue using it. However, some users on Reddit who had signed up for Messenger without a Facebook account have reported that they have received an error message saying their account has been restricted.
The change comes ahead of Facebook's planned unification of its major messaging platforms, which include Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. According to a report published by The New York Times earlier this year, the social networking giant is planning to integrate the technical infrastructure underlying the three platforms.
In addition to interoperability between its different messaging services, Facebook is also working on shifting to end-to-end encryption, even though the U.S., U.K., and Australian governments have asked it to shelve those plans.