Facebook Now Exploring SMS Integration For Messenger; Introducing Support For Multiple Accounts
According to the world’s most popular social media platform, it is already exploring a way in which mobile users can receive, read, and reply to their SMS driven conversations within the Facebook Messenger app for smartphones and tablet devices. If this feature is deployed widely, it will be made optional to users, basically serving as a new option especially for those who want to try something other than their default text messaging application, and consequently, increase usage time on Facebook Messenger.
Moreover, Facebook also now has support for multiple accounts within the Messenger mobile app environment (like what Instagram has done recently), specifically for Android. Indeed, Messenger for Android now has a section called “Accounts,”, which allows users to add and remove accounts. These can be protected by passwords so only the account holder can access their messages. Non-account holders will only get to see notifications that a message has come in, not the content of the message itself. Unlike the SMS support, multiple accounts is made available for all Facebook users around the world.
Facebook took the opportunity to confirm it was testing SMS integration after there were reports that stated SMS support was making a comeback in the Messenger mobile app. As reported by Android Police, some mobile users apparently noticed a new SMS Settings pane in the app, which let them use Messenger as an SMS client.
When users text a Facebook friend via a Messenger mobile app with the option enabled, the text input box that appears would prompt the user to compose an SMS message. The messages that are transmitted as SMS texts would then be rendered in the form of violet colored bubbles as opposed to the Messenger mobile app’s original blue rendering.
The younger generation may not know this, but the early form of Facebook Messenger actually served as an SMS replacement service apart from being a chat function for Facebook friends. It was in late 2013 that the social media giant decided to give its mobile app a major facelift, adding a way for mobile users to send messages even to people who are not their Facebook friends via their phone number. Those messages were delivered within the receiver’s Messenger mobile app environment. Furthermore, Facebook removed the option to actually use SMS messages, claiming that it was not gaining much traction. What actually happened was that the company likely was looking to force adoption of Facebook Messenger, which it did when it got rid of the functionality from the default Facebook mobile app in 2014.
For 2016, Facebook had envisioned making the phone number extinct. It has not quite succeeded yet in that regard, but bringing back SMS support to its Messenger mobile app is a nice start. And it has a decent chance of winning, considering that its only real competition in the United States are SMS and iMessage.