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Dispelling the Myths on Facebook Messenger

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Facebook Messenger has not had the strongest of entries into the market.

Its performance and design aside, it has been shrouded in mystery, especially considering the history and reputation of its mother company Facebook. This article looks at some of the most common myths and explains the truths behind them. Many of the complaints come from the belief that the fact that Facebook is forcing people to use its Messenger to send messages means it will have complete control over one’s mobile device. This idea has further been propagated by articles that have gone viral, which have had privacy concerned customers up in arms. Here is a detailed explanation of what the app does, and what it does not do.

Use of the camera and microphone

Like many other apps, the Facebook app requests the permission of the user for it to access certain applications on the phone when it is being installed. If, for instance, one wants to take a photo and send it to a friend, then the app must access the camera. In the same vein, to make calls, the application must turn on the microphone. All of these are done with the permission of the user. According to Facebook, the app does not turn on the phone camera or microphone when the owner is not using the application.

Forcing people to use the messenger

According to Facebook, the reason they ask people to install the Messenger is because of their commitment to providing a fast and reliable messaging service, and a way for people to reach the people who matter most to them. According to Facebook, typically, people respond up to 20 percent faster when using the messenger. However, while it is required to download the messenger when using Facebook on Android or iOS, one does not have to download the messenger when using Facebook on the desktop, iPad, laptop or even the mobile site.

Messenger’s terms and conditions

One of the most popular claims is that the terms and conditions for Facebook Messenger are different and, in fact, more intrusive than Facebook’s official terms. This is a belief perhaps driven by fear but is not true. All of Facebook’s mobile apps operate on the same terms and conditions, including the main Facebook application. Perhaps what unnerves many people is the fact that list of permissions they receive when thedownloading messenger is longer than the other typical apps. While the list of features is long, it is not any different from what other messenger services access. Perhaps the feeling is more reinforced on iPhone because the list does not come up when installing, but the permissions come up individually when one is using the app.

Messages

Another one of people’s worries is the fact that the app can edit, send, receive and read SMS messages. In fact, one of the permissions of Messenger does say the application can do this. However, the reason Facebook does this is such that Facebook can send a confirmation code when users add new phone numbers to their messenger accounts.