Facebook Messenger no longer allows you to sign up without creating a Facebook account

Written 5 months ago by IanDorfman

Facebook has tightened its grip on the ecosystem of its second most used chat service today. The social network giant now requires anyone that wants to use its Small Facebook Messenger iconFacebook Messenger chat service to register a Small Facebook iconFacebook account.

Previously, anyone who wished to use Messenger to talk to others on the service could skip signing up for a Facebook account by using their phone number to register instead. This is no longer the case. In a statement to VentureBeat, Facebook said the following:

“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.”

Though it is uncertain why the change is happening now, it may have to do with the upcoming unification of message infrastructure that powers Messenger, Small WhatsApp iconWhatsApp, and Small Instagram iconInstagram's messaging functionality. This account requirement may make it possible to implement the systems needed for end-to-end encryption and inter-network messaging.

For those that wish to use their phone number for non-SMS chat services, Small Signal iconSignal and Small Telegram iconTelegram both provide end-to-end encrypted service and can be signed up for using only a phone number if you wish.

Further coverage:
VentureBeat