Just because you’ve sworn off Facebook doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of all Messenger has to offer! These simple steps will have you using Messenger in no time at all, without starting a Facebook account.
Why Use Messenger?
Facebook Messenger is now one of the biggest messaging platforms worldwide, with over 900 million users worldwide.
Much of the app’s popularity comes from Facebook’s ongoing insistence that it be a separate app (you can now no longer access messages through the Facebook mobile site). So, one motivation for using Messenger is that it’s highly likely most of your friends are using it as well!
If that’s not enough to convince you, Messenger is also evolving far beyond just another way to chat with your friends. In fact, recent updates and upgrades to Messenger are making it obvious that it is slowly becoming a powerful multipurpose app.
Seriously, you want to order an Uber? Messenger. Need to make a voice or video call? Messenger. Want to play a game against your friends? Messenger. And don’t even get me started on all the different ways the app allows you to send GIFs, stickers, photos, or edited images to your friends.
As well, a recent update now allows you to encrypt your Messenger conversations. End-to-end encryption guarantees that no one other than you and the other people included in a message can read what you say. This update brings the app’s security on par with other popular messaging services such as WhatsApp.
Why Avoid Facebook?
There are a lot of legitimate reasons that many people choose not to use Facebook.
For starters, many people are frustrated by Facebook staples like pyramid schemes, political debates, and pointless status updates. For these users, there’s no point in using a social media site that fills them with rage!
Others just aren’t interested in keeping up with friends online. These users would rather catch up over a cup of coffee or on the phone instead of through liking each other’s perfect social media posts.
Beyond these concerns, security concerns have plagued Facebook users for years. Facebook is now one of the primary ways to register for several services online and your data are constantly tracked. Those who want to protect their privacy and limit the amount of information available about them online may also refuse to open a Facebook account.
Downloading Messenger Without a Facebook Account
So, if you don’t have Facebook, how on earth are you supposed to use Facebook Messenger?
Thankfully, the process is easier than you may think. First, go to the App store for your brand of phone and download the Messenger app. Once you download it to your phone, open the app.
When you open the app for the first time, you will see a screen that offers you two choices. You can choose to “Sign in with Facebook” or “Continue with phone number”.
Select “Continue with phone number”. You will be asked to confirm that you want to continue without using an existing Facebook account.
Next, you are prompted to enter your phone number, and are then texted a confirmation code.
Once you confirm this code, you are asked to enter your name so that people can find you on the app. Once this is done, you’re ready to begin using Messenger!
Setting Up Messenger Without a Facebook Account
After you activate your account there are still a few settings to finalize!
First, Messenger prompts you to upload a photo of yourself so that other users can recognize you.
Next, it asks if you want to add your contacts to Messenger. If you grant the app these permissions it will continuously access your contacts and automatically add them to your Messenger address book.
If you choose not to automate this process, you can still add your contacts one-by-one to your Messenger account. This can be done by searching for their phone number (if they have their phone associated with their Messenger) or entering their name into the ‘To’ field. You may have to search through several profiles before finding the person you’re looking for!
This Isn’t to Say That Messenger Is Perfect
Messenger is becoming a pretty great app, but it still isn’t perfect.
Many users find that the app uses a significant amount of battery power. In fact, this effect is so obvious that Facebook actually released an app called Messenger Lite designed to save battery by limiting the number of features available. While this app is technically targeted at users in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Venezuela, you can download it on your Android phone by following Mihir’s steps in the article just linked!
If you want to use Facebook’s messaging system without downloading Messenger, it’s unfortunately getting harder and harder to do so. Your best bet is honestly to do all of your messaging from a computer — it’s frustrating, but it will work.
Do You Use Messenger?
Despite how popular Messenger is, it’s still not the norm — the circles in my Messenger app show that a large percentage of my Facebook friends don’t use the app!
Are you a Messenger user? If so, what is your favourite thing to use it for?
If you don’t use Messenger, what alternative do you use? Why do you prefer it? Let me know in the comments!