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Facebook debunks Whatsapp rumours with Android app update

Looks to kill the SMS single-handedly
Wed Dec 05 2012, 12:35

SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook is looking to spoil the text message's 20th birthday celebrations with the launch of its updated Messenger for Android app, which looks to kill SMS.

On Tuesday Facebook announced that users bizarrely no longer need a Facebook account to use its Messenger for Android application. Instead, anyone can sign up for the service with their name and phone number.

Those who sign up with their mobile phone number will be able to send messages to their Facebook contacts via their data plan, rather than as text messages, and will be able to message other friends also using the app without a Facebook account.

"Starting today, you can create a Messenger account with just your name and phone number, and start messaging your mobile contacts," Facebook said.

"Just install the app and tap Get Started to reach your contacts faster, start group conversations, share photos and more."

The timing of this announcement is particularly interesting, as it comes amidst rumours that Facebook is looking to acquire social messaging service Whatsapp.

However, Tuesday's announcement from Facebook seemingly debunks the rumours, as the social network has instead launched its very own competitor to the multi-platform messaging application - complete with the ability to share images and create group conversaions for free.

Facebook Messenger is available to download for free from Google Play. It's unclear whether the update will also be coming to Facebook's IOS app, but we've contacted it for further information.

It looks like the text message truly has passed its peak. µ


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