You can no longer use a phone number to sign up for Facebook Messenger
In a bid to bring more users to the platform, Facebook has now removed support for phone number logins on Facebook Messenger. According to a recent report from VentureBeat, the company now requires users to create a Facebook account in order to use Messenger. In an email to the publication, 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 wanted to simplify the process. If you already use Messenger without a Facebook account, no need to do anything.”
As is evident from the statement above, the recent change won’t affect users who have already signed up for Messenger using their phone number. The change only applies to new users who haven’t signed up for Messenger before. However, a few Messenger users who don’t have a Facebook account have reported that the transition hasn’t gone smoothly. This could be due to a bug that brings up an error message indicating that their account has been restricted.
Facebook’s move to remove phone number sign-ups on Messenger foreshadow’s the company’s plan to unify all its messaging platforms. Earlier this year in January we learned that Mark Zuckerberg planned on unifying the infrastructure of all three of the company’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger.
The idea behind that was to operate all three services as standalone apps but on the same underlying messaging infrastructure. The raised privacy concerns among many of its users, following which Facebook outlined a new “Privacy-Focused Vision”. But the company’s plans may not pan out smoothly as U.S. Federal officials are currently considering seeking preliminary action against the company over antitrust concerns regarding how its products interact.