Facebook to users: ‘Get the facts about Messenger’

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(PIX11) – Facebook is trying to calm down growing hysteria surrounding its Messenger app with an online post explaining why the seemingly-invasive privacy settings are really not that scary.

Last month Facebook cut off the ability to view messages on the mobile app, instead prompting people to download the new Facebook Messenger.

“Are you going to give me extra memory on my phone for forcing me to install an extra app?” Wrote Colleen Shreve in one of the 1.6 million one-star reviews in the Google play store. “What’s the point when there was messenger on the main app?”

The creation of multiple apps with different functions appears to be a growing trend — Foursquare, for example, is currently battling similar anger over its new “Swarm” app.

Facebook must have known it would cause a rebellion after essentially holding users' messages hostage, but the privacy notifications only made things worse.  Facebook Messenger, among many other things, requests access to your phone's pictures, camera, microphone, contacts and the mysterious "other."

Facebook Messenger backlash

Messenger has nearly 4.7 million five-star reviews, but also 1.7 million one-star reviews.

For many, Facebook seems to be a necessary evil -- a link to friends and family provided by a company that can't be trusted.  Backlash was swift and rumors of the Silicon Valley company recording things without permission spread quickly.

Facebook apparently decided enough was enough, and Peter Martizzi from the Messenger team issued the following statement:

"You might have heard the rumors going around about the Messenger app. Some have claimed that the app is always using your phone's camera and microphone to see and hear what you're doing. These reports aren't true, and many have been corrected. Still, we want to address some concerns you might have.

How we actually use the camera and microphone—Like most other apps, we request permission to run certain features, such as making calls and sending photos, videos or voice messages. If you want to send a selfie to a friend, the app needs permission to turn on your phone's camera and capture that photo. We don't turn on your camera or microphone when you aren't using the app.

Why we're asking people to install Messenger—We're committed to providing a fast, reliable and fun messaging app that anyone in the world can use to reach the people who matter to them. That's why we're focusing just on Messenger and moving messages out of the Facebook app. People usually respond about 20% faster when they have Messenger, and we think they'll find both apps useful in different ways. We hope you'll try out Messenger and enjoy everything else you can do with the app, like chatting with groups and sending stickers."



  • amb5886

    If you have a cellphone or a computer you’re already being watched by someone. The government monitors your internet activity. There’s no such thing as privacy in the digital age. Sorry folks.

  • Llorazz

    If I know you well enough for you to send me a private message, then you already know my phone number and can call me or send a text. I won’t download an ap to receive messages via Facebook.

  • Rob

    Funny thing here, I need Messenger to access my messages, I get notifications on my phone that display the entire message sent to me, I go to read them, and I need Messenger to read them, how much sense does that make? When I message someone I don’t always want to engage in conversation, I don’t like being forced to download anything just to talk to myfriends. Doesn’t it seem weird that they separated facebook into two separate entites instead integrating it into facebook?

  • JAF

    If you get a message notification that you can’t read on your FB App then just open your safari, chrome or whatever internet you have on your phone/tablet and to go facebook.com. You can still read the messages there. I don’t like the whole messenger thing… you have to have the app to read your messages… I don’t think so!

  • Yamaha R15 dan Yamaha R25 Motor Sport Racing Dan Kencang

    I usually do not drop many remarks, however i did a few searching and wound up
    here Facebook to users: Get the facts about Messenger | New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV.
    And I do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be
    only me or does it look like a few of the comments appear like written by brain
    dead visitors? :-P And, if you are posting at additional social sites, I
    would like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your public pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?


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