Facebook Forces Mobile Users to Download Messenger App to Access Facebook Messages

BlogHer Original Post

Facebook announced today that you'll need to download a second app in order to access Facebook messages from your smartphone. This is both for your benefit -- faster app speed for their main app since it won't be weighed down by messages -- but moreso Facebook's benefit: why use any other messaging app when you need to download Facebook's regardless if you want to access that Facebook feature? It's like colonizing your phone, one app at a time.

Facebook Messenger

Image: Karlas Dambrans via Flickr

Some people were understandably annoyed by the announcement:

While others were amused:

Huffington Post already debated Facebook Messenger's terms of service (TOS) back in 2013, and what they found may make you rethink being one of the one million downloads of the new app. Two of the more worrisome points in the TOS:

Allows the app to record audio with microphone. This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation.

Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation.

Though stranger still, after fifteen minutes of searching, I was still unable to find a complete version of the Facebook Messenger License Agreement or terms of service. Even clicking on the link within iTunes simply took me to a page stating that by downloading the app, I agreed to their terms of service without ever telling you what their terms of service were.

That lack of transparency doesn't bode well.

Have you downloaded Facebook Messenger or do you plan to use it in the future? Or will you wait to access your Facebook messages when you're not on your mobile device?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

Recent Posts by Melissa Ford

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