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Facebook 2016 Strategies: #1 to Kill the Phone Number

Facebook 2016 Strategies #1 to Kill the Phone Number

Facebook 2016 strategies: #1 to kill the phone number – I can’t say that I’m not liking this idea. Head of Facebook Messenger believes that nobody needs a phone number as long as Messenger exists.

Considering that you most likely don’t know any phone number besides your own, this will actually prove to be the idea of the decade.

As soon as you add someone’s contact details into your phone, synch them to whatever service you’re using, you’ll never again consider looking at those details – except when a friend asks for a friend’s number, that is.

David Marcus, who is the company’s Vice President of Messaging Products, writes in a blog post that resembles more of a rallying cry rather than a tight plan, that towards the end of last year, north of 800 million people were using Facebook’s Messenger.

Marcus says that they have made Messenger blazing fast, they introduced video calling and the ability to customize that chat window with emojis, nicknames and colours. With the new addition of Businesses on Messenger, the company has introduced a new way for companies to engage with consumers.

Yet, there’s this old conservative foe that Facebook needs to eradicate from our everyday lives – that is the phone number.

As Marcus notes that Messenger offers so much more than texting, he points that people can use Messenger to call friends. Though, the major impediment is that not everyone has yet given the social media giant their phone numbers.

Fun fact: you can even send money to people via Messenger. I haven’t personally tried it, and I don’t think I ever will, but it’s an option.

I count myself among the people who haven’t given Facebook those sweet digits it requires. I don’t think will do so any time soon, even though the platform continues to pester me with that extra piece of information for security pop-up.

Marcus, however, insists, that you don’t even need to have a Facebook account to use Messenger. Assuming, the company wants it to resemble a gateway feature.

I’m loving the idea of removing the traditional phone number and moving forward, to another platform, but I’m not keen on giving Facebook the upper hand.

I haven’t added a phone number to Facebook because I don’t trust Facebook to keep it hidden, away from advertisers. Ultimately, that’s what it’s about – making money out of the Facebook Messenger chat app.

For sure, the phone number will become obsolete, but I don’t think that the Messenger app will replace it. At least, I hope it won’t be.

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About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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