Facebook Messenger has officially changed the app’s login process.

Unlike in the past where users needed to first of all sign up for a Facebook account before being able to access the services of the Messenger app, those living in the U.S, Canada, Peru as well as Venezuela can at the moment use their mobile phone numbers to sign up for Facebook Messenger.

This is not a very new thing for this application as it in the past allowed users to add their phone numbers to the platform, but only after using their Facebook account details to log into the app. This process only works for mobile numbers and in case you were thinking about using your landline for the same purpose, then you better get a mobile phone.

How to setup Facebook Messenger on Android using a mobile phone number

This change is set to revolutionize this instant messaging app and for sure, there are other players in the industry which are not the happiest to hear this news, for instance, Facebook’s WhatsApp, Viber and LINE. These apps make use of phone numbers to sign up users and now that Messenger has jumped onto this bandwagon, things are set to get tighter and tougher for these competing apps.

The good thing about the new process of signing up for a Facebook Messenger account without a Facebook account is that it’s very easy and almost identical to the rest of the apps. When you download and install Messenger app for the first time on your Android phone number, you will notice a small text option with the words, “Not on Facebook?” By tapping on this text, the application will automatically complete the text field for entering your phone number. However, this number can be changed, but make sure the number used can receive an SMS.

Verification of Facebook Messenger

To verify your Facebook Messenger account after installing the app on your Android phone is no different from WhatsApp or Viber. What the app does send an SMS with a verification code to the mobile phone number you provided and used this code, you will be able to complete the registration and verification process.

The Messenger app setup will then ask for your full names and just like the phone number, the app will also auto-populate by the details provided on your device. However, these details can be edited and entered according to the users’ preference.  In the process, you will also be asked to provide a profile picture. However, this is optional.

Limitations of using phone-only Facebook Messenger

Of course, there will be some limitations for those who will only use phone numbers to sign up for a Facebook Messenger account. One such limitation comes in when users want to add contacts to the app. The only possible way of adding new contacts to the app is by manually adding their phone numbers to the app, however, these numbers must be the ones your friends have associated with their Facebook accounts for this to work. If you try searching by their names, nothing will come out. You will have to ask for the numbers they’ve used on their Facebook profiles. Alternatively, you can as well let the app do its magic by looking matching the contacts in your phone book with those available on various Facebook accounts.

Facebook had promised to deliver users with an app that only required a phone number and now that it has made it possible, the future of WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion in February 2014, might be in great danger.

Applications Facebook Messenger Now Requires a Mobile Phone Number to Sign Up