For a while now, Facebook has had a separate app for messaging. Recently, the company forced users to use that app for messaging, by redirecting users in the Facebook app to the Messenger app for sending and receiving messages. Facebook Messenger has been gaining more and more features, you can now use it as your default SMS app, much in the same way that you can with Hangouts. You can also make phone calls from the app. And now you don't need a Facebook account to use the messenger app. So now you can send stickers and such to users without logging into Facebook.
Kind of strange right? Using a Facebook app without needing a Facebook account? That's part of their update that is coming out today. You'll be able to use their messaging app, which is actually a really good app, without Facebook. All you need to use Facebook Messenger is a phone number:
"With this update, more people can enjoy all the features that are available on Messenger – including photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, stickers and more. All you need is a phone number."
How it'll work, is in the login screen you'll see a new option that says "Not on Facebook?" Just tap on that option, you'll be taken to a screen where you can login with a phone number. There you can sign up with your name, phone number and photo. The Facebook team is starting to roll out this update to those in "Canada, the United States, Peru or Venezuela" now, so you should see an update in the Play Store shortly for Facebook Messenger.
In Facebook's blog post today, they do also say that there are added benefits to signing in with your Facebook account. For example, you can message your Facebook friends that way, as well as being able to connect through Facebook, so you won't need to remember your friends or family members phone numbers. Facebook Messenger is available on both tablets and smartphones running Android – as well as iOS devices.