Facebook Messenger Android Update

Exactly 20 years ago from yesterday the first SMS (text message) was sent. The progress this area of technology has made is incredible. It’s a shame that so many tech giants want SMS to come to an end.

Facebook launched their latest attack against SMS this morning – Tuesday, December 4th 2012 – as the company made its messenger app available to Android users in five different countries. This does not require a Facebook account either! You can simply download the Messenger app and sign in with your phone number and you are ready to start messaging your contacts… who use this application.

Since the beginning of SMS (short messaging services) its uses have been controlled by cellular carriers like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc. – until now. This is not the first attempt by a tech company to grab hold of this market, but none the less, a very important release for Android users. As social media companies have updated to the mobile world, a piece of the text messaging pie has since been in their cross-hairs. One can’t help but wonder how long it will be before Facebook develops their very own mobile devices… or have they already started?

This Facebook Messenger App is available for both Android and iOS phones.

This release brings about the possibility for international expansion. There’s no telling how far companies like Facebook will stretch their arms for a strong hold on the SMS market. Starting today the product update will initially reach five countries – India, Australia, Indonesia, Venezuela, and South Africa – all areas showing very expensive SMS rates. This gives Facebook a greater chance at securing the SMS market in these areas, whether they have an account or not. It’s no surprise the update is beginning with Android powered phones as it is the fastest spreading smartphone platform in the world and available on a wide price range of phones.

There isn’t any word on the update for iOS users as of yet. It is more than likely that Apple will not be very fond of Facebook stealing users from using their SMS and switching to the app driven messenger.

Current competitor levels are certainly considerable, with mobile messaging platforms such as WhatsApp – one that Facebook has personally expressed interest in. However there is no development in the movement on securing this as their own. Owners of Whatsapp Brian Acton and Jan Koum have made clear their intent to remain as an independent company.

For now, SMS is still in the lead with mobile messaging, but who knows how long it shall remain. It’s been a solid 20 years SMS, but your days may be numbered.

You can find out more about the Messenger App from Facebook here.

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