The Facebook Messenger app has taken a lot of heat over the last couple of days but it is not a requirement to keep on chatting. In fact, there are many myths surrounding the idea of Facebook forcing smartphone users to download the app after announcing the removal of messenger from the main app.
Privacy concerns are evident. To use the app, users are being asked to allow Facebook to use their cameras and even have access to control the phonebook. For those really concerned, this was also a requirement for the main app if the terms and conditions were looked into carefully.
The main way to get around these privacy issues is to not download the apps at all. But does that not mean that there is no option to communicate with friends or use Facebook? Not at all! For those who prefer the main app and refuse to download the Facebook Messenger app, there is also a way to still use this part of the social media site to keep in touch with friends.
It is still possible to access the messaging system through a desktop. For those on the go, it is also possible to go to the mobile site through an internet app and access everything on the site through there. The change has only happened to the Facebook app for smartphones, and means that the Facebook Messenger app is not a requirement to keep on chatting privately.
There have been calls to get rid of some of the scary requirements. Having access to the microphone and camera could mean that the social media giant is able to record someone without them knowing. That is not the reason for this part of the terms and conditions. It is so that Facebook can let you use the microphone and camera for the video chat function. Without access to these, it would affect the quality and value of the free app.
The access to the phone book and the ability to send text messages is not to communicate with people you do not know. It is not designed to put your safety at risk. This is in place for those who add contact numbers through messages. Facebook is able to contact a user via text to make sure this is correct.
The main app does have access to the phone book too. Facebook users are automatically added to a person’s phone book to make communication much easier. It is possible to have phone numbers of Facebook friends if they share them on the social media site, which can turn out extremely useful when on the go.
This is not a new app that is designed to affect privacy. There are some very good reasons for access to various parts of the phone. There are also ways around the situation by using the mobile site or just refusing access to the social media site completely from a smartphone. The Facebook Messenger app is certainly not a requirement to keep on chatting, but does make chatting on a smartphone much more convenient.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham