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Leaving the nest: it’s now possible to sign up for Messenger without a Facebook account

Facebook has announced that users do not need to have a Facebook account to sign up to Messenger. Up until now, one could not sign up to Messenger without a Facebook account but that has now changed, allowing users to sign up with their phone numbers, giving Messenger more power.

The company has been building Messenger, giving it photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, and stickers features. With 700-million monthly users, Messenger has already lay claim to a huge chunk of the messaging market.

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This move is significant. It establishes more than ever before Messenger as a serious messaging app. Even Facebook detractors might now consider using Messenger.

Read more: Facebook to partner with Cell C for free internet in SA

For now the new way of signing up to Messenger is only available in Canada, the United States, Peru or Venezuela. Facebook says that it is coming to other markets.

When you open Messenger, the welcome screen will now have the ‘Not on Facebook?’ option. Users can then sign up with a name, a phone number and a photo. Users can also search for people within Messenger.

The company however still points out that signing up to Messenger with a Facebook account has its benefits.

“People can easily message with their Facebook friends and contacts, access their Facebook messages and take advantage of multi-device messaging across mobile devices, the web and tablets.” The company said in a blog post.

The biggest irritation with the Facebook Messenger linking is that one still gets the messages as an inbox on Facebook, leading to too many notifications. Even users who are on Facebook might re-sign up to Messenger just so to avoid this.

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