Facebook has made a change that makes it no longer possible to use Messenger without a Facebook account. Previously a mobile phone number was sufficient to get started with the apps Messenger and Messenger Lite.
Facebook confirmed the adjusted policy towards the American technology website VentureBeat. “New Messenger users will find that from now on they need a Facebook account to be able to chat with friends and acquaintances,” said a social network spokesperson.
According to the spokesperson, the vast majority of Messenger users are already registering through their Facebook account: “With this change, we want to further simplify the registration process”. For Messenger users who have logged into the chat app without a Facebook account in the past, nothing will change.
However, some existing users report on Reddit that they are experiencing problems when they want to log in to Messenger without a Facebook account. They have been notified since the change that their account was ‘limited’. It is not clear whether it is a bug or a temporary failure.
The new Facebook policy in any case has a direct impact on children who want to chat via Messenger. Previously every child could install and use the app on a smartphone without any problems, now children must be at least thirteen years old for this; that is the required age in the Netherlands and Belgium to use Facebook. In many other countries, the age limit for the social network has been set at sixteen.