Should You Worry About the New Facebook Messenger?
A lot of Facebook users, including my wife, have recently raised privacy concerns over the new Facebook Messenger mobile app. They claim that by using the new app, Facebook would be able to steal all of your data, access your contact list and call your friends without permission, and use your camera and microphone without your knowledge. Scary, right?
But there is no need to panic. These accusations are not entirely true. In its defence, Facebook even released a statement that all these talk are based on misinformation. Well, who can they blame? They have not been really good at that previously when they conducted a study without our consent.
Basically, the premise of the new Facebook messenger is: it is a separate app that can run independently. An instant chat feature. So you don’t have to launch the full Facebook app which will save you memory, bandwidth, and battery life. The chat head feature is very helpful for multitasking. You don’t have to leave your current screen to be able to see the text message.
In reality, Facebook Messenger app is like any other popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Viber. You are actually giving up the same common information required by them. Besides, these are reasonable requests to make the app work. For instance, it needs access to your camera so that you can send pictures. Permission to use microphone is used to record audio to make a voice call or when you’re taking a video.
When you install the Facebook Messenger app, it will ask you to sync with the contacts on your phone. The good thing about it is it would show you which of your contacts who aren’t your Facebook friends also use Messenger thereby allowing you to send a message.
In summary, there is nothing to worry so far. And I think eventually the goal of Facebook is to introduce more features that will make it more engaging. That’s why they think you will thank them later for the forced installation.
For more information on the new features of Facebook Messenger app, you can refer to its Help Center.