It seems that Facebook Messenger is bringing SMS support back now that they’re sure their messaging platform will not be out staged by the old school system. Admittedly, their plans worked.
- Facebook Messenger had SMS support, but dropped it in 2013
- They will start testing the SMS support for a limited amount of users in the U.S.
- SMS will appear with purple, instead of the regular blue
- The feature will likely only be available for Android devices
When first introduced, Facebook Messenger already had support for SMS, the good ol’ texting system that most have relinquished by now. It’s all about messaging apps, and with titans such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger taking advantage of the almighty and all-around WiFi, they have pushed SMS to the back. However, that was not always the case.
Thus, back in 2013, Facebook decided to drop their Messenger’s support for SMS. It was done for the purpose of keeping users as long on their platform as possible. After all, why use Facebook Messenger for SMS when your phone’s default system worked just fine and it was familiar? The social media giant believed that not a lot of users would make use of their SMS support system. In fact, most found it redundant. Texting was texting, and IM-ing was IM-ing. There was no need to merge the two worlds or data plans.
However, the time has come to return to that support now that Facebook Messenger is confident in their 800 million user database. Now, it’s their platform that people are accustomed to. So, it’s the right time to bring back SMS support, as people are, in fact, more likely to stick with Messenger. Facebook built trust, gained users, and now believes their platform could defeat a smartphone’s default texting system.
Some users in the United States might already start seeing the integration happening on their app. In fact, they will be able to begin sending an SMS to others, which is especially important for those who do not have a Facebook account. Even if they’re not on the social media platform and don’t have Facebook Messenger installed, the app will still be relevant among users. It’s especially clever to start rolling out this feature now.
But, as Facebook declared, their aim is to keep a line of communication open among everyone. They are “always trying to create new ways for people to communicate seamlessly”. So far, they must be doing something right, especially since Facebook also owns WhatsApp, which is the world’s most popular messaging app, recently topping 1 billion users.
Users will start noting the difference between the regular “Write a message” and “Write a SMS”, which will also be differentiated in coloring. The Facebook blue bubble will appear for regular messages through the app, and a purple one for SMS. The move to bring back is also in line with the company’s 2016 vision of eliminating phone numbers.
The feature will only be available for Android, and it’s unlikely that it will ever appear for iOS. This is due to the fact that the operating system itself must be modified to allow this, and Android is known to show much more flexibility.
Image source: digitaltrends.com