Facebook messenger update was announced on wednesday, the app which lets users send text messages to each other, but without the usual other content on Facebook like the news feed and timeline profiles. Facebook messenger is expected to get stronger in the stiff and competitive mobile messenger ecosystem that include Whatsapp messenger, Wechat and Snapchat.
Before the update, the app let users send messages just to their Facebook friends. Now it lets people send messages to anyone with a Facebook account—even if they’re not friends—as long as the sender knows the person’s phone number. The message appears in the recipient’s Messenger app or in the person’s Facebook messages folder.
Sending messages via Facebook messenger saves the sender an SMS charge, similar to other mobile-to-mobile messaging services like WhatsApp, Snapchat and WeChat, which have become popular among teenagers and young adults.
Messenger’s new feature may allow Facebook to better compete against those services. Facebook is losing some of its younger teenage users on a daily basis, the company reported during its last earnings call.
The new Messenger app is also designed to be faster, by letting users see which of their Facebook friends are on Messenger. An icon will appear next to the names of people who have downloaded Messenger, which means that those users will be notified instantly upon the message’s delivery, Facebook said.