Despite widespread panic over privacy concerns, a new infographic from GlobalWebIndex shows that the adoption of Facebook Messenger continues to grow in many countries. This may be somewhat unsurprising, given that Facebook has unbundled messaging from the main app and pushed that feature into its Messenger app.
GlobalWebIndex notes that Facebook Messenger is now the world’s second-most-popular messaging app, behind another Facebook entity — WhatsApp. In the U.K., the percentage of mobile users with Facebook Messenger rose from 27 percent at the end of 2013 to 40 percent midway through 2014.
Here’s a look at Facebook Messenger’s top markets internationally, ranked by the share of mobile audience.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Android Police was the first to report on the update, describing how the feature works:
While in a chat, tap the photo icon in the bottom control row. You’ll see the now-standard horizontal photo reel. Slide left or right to find the one you want, then select either the “Aa” (text) or pen icon. You can doodle or type to your heart’s content, which should be very handy for elaborating on complex driving directions. Or drawing genitals on the heads of your friends when they’ve been caught in a compromising position. You know, important stuff. When you’re done, switch down to the bottom bar again and tap the arrow icon to upload the photo.
Android Police also pointed out that the feature does not currently work with photos taken via Messenger’s built-in camera.
The Google Play page for Messenger only had this to say under its “What’s New” section:
More fun with photos: Now you can draw and type messages on photos you send from your gallery.
Readers: What do you think of this new Messenger feature?
Screenshot courtesy of Android Police.
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook
Much of the paranoia is fueled by a Huffington Post story from November 2013, as well as a post by a radio station in Houston — both written to stoke fear within Facebook users.
While Facebook Messenger on Android does ask for several permissions that seem privacy-invasive, these actions cannot happen without manual user action. Facebook Messenger will not call people on your behalf or alter your network for Mark Zuckerberg’s benefit.
So why does it all seem so invasive? Mashable has an amazing post breaking down every single permission the Messenger app asks for, explaining why the app needs them.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the permissions for Facebook Messenger haven’t changed since app first launched. The story points out that Google Play permissions can be scary and convoluted.
But why is Facebook doing this in the first place? Facebook wants to make the main app faster by removing a core component — messaging — and moving it into a separate app. By having a Facebook app free of messages, it can run and load faster. By having all messaging components within Messenger, it makes the messaging experience that much faster.
Mashable explained why these permissions seem so scary:
From time to time, Facebook requests more permissions from the system to perform certain tasks. Generally, the company explains why those permissions are being requested.
Nothing that Facebook is requesting for Facebook Messenger is new. If you installed the app last year, you’ve approved all of these permissions already.
We can argue about whether users should be able to approve certain permissions individually — and that’s a good discussion to have. But that is up to Google, not Facebook. When it comes to Android app permissions, Facebook has to play by Google’s rules.
Readers: Will you install Facebook Messenger?
Article courtesy of Inside Facebook