In a move that could soon sound the death knell to the traditional SMS service, Facebook has announced the launch of a WhatsApp like SMS messenger service.
Currently, the app developed for Android users, can be used in India, Indonesia, Venezuela, Australia and South Africa and most importantly, it is not mandatory for users to have a Facebook account or even an email address.
All you need to register and start using the service is to add your name and mobile number.
While the company is targeting first time users who do not have an email or a Facebook account, its success depends on tie-ups with supporting mobile operators.
In India and other countries it has tied up with leading mobile operators and the company hopes to expand it to other markets in phases.
Reports had earlier indicated that Facebook was interested in acquiring WhatsApp, another popular messaging service that has been downloaded by more than 200 million users - 100 million by Android users alone.
According to analytics firm App Annie, WhatsApp is also the top overall paid app in the Apple App Store in 126 countries, including the UAE. It continues to top the Social networking platform in about 152 countries as of today.
The new Facebook messengers would definitely be aiming at overtaking these numbers.
Meanwhile, Facebook has also made it easier for anyone using a Firefox browser to download its messenger without visiting its homepage.
The social networking company made its Facebook Messenger for Firefox available for download as a plugin earlier this week.
To activate Facebook Messenger for Firefox, users need to download and install the latest version of the browser and click the “Turn On” button for Facebook Messenger for Firefox.
The messenger will also deliver new comments and photo tags as well as friend requests and notifications for messages directly to the Firefox toolbar. In case your Facebook friends are annoying you at work, the sidebar can be easily hidden and disabled as well.