It’s hard to think about Facebook as just a website or just an application (app). Facebook is enmeshed with the fabric of modern life; thinking about one’s Facebook wall is akin to thinking of one’s rolodex, phone book, or list of addresses. Facebook Messenger with online login is just an extension of the Facebook realm of services it offers to the world.
The preeminence of Facebook as a social media app can be seen in the fact that many other apps, such as Instagram and Tinder, use a person’s Facebook profile as a login. For these reasons and many more, Facebook has ceased being just an app that one can use if she wants to connect with people; it’s an unavoidable service of the 21st century. Facebook’s utility has grown beyond its original purpose: in addition to the main Facebook site, the company has also produced a Messenger app, which is now one of many messenger apps that one might use (in addition to Google‘s Gchat, Skype, and others).
If one is looking to diversify her messenger apps, Facebook Messenger is a fine choice to add to her roster. This guide will help you log in to Facebook Messenger online, as well as highlight some pros and cons of the service in comparison to other messenger apps.
” Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Facebook Messenger: What You Need to Know Before You Try
- As the name of the app implies, Facebook Messenger arose out of the original Facebook website. For a time, this meant that Messenger was an extension of the Facebook service itself, but this is no longer the case. You do not need a Facebook profile in order to use Messenger. Facebook announced in 2015 that it would allow Messenger users to create profiles on the app without using the main Facebook app. While the move did cut out some of the exclusivity of Messenger, it did allow Messenger to be used by a wider audience. So don’t fret: you don’t have to get a Facebook account if you don’t want to.
- It is worth closely reading the permissions requested by the Facebook Messenger app. Messenger has received criticism for what some perceive as excessive permission requests; Melanie Pinola, writing for ITworld, calls Messenger’s privacy agreement “invasive.” Although Facebook’s agreements with its users change intermittently, Cyber-Construction Inc. reports that, at one time, Facebook Messenger came with permissions that include: allowing Messenger to call phone numbers without your permission, allowing Messenger to change the state of network connectivity, and allowing Messenger to take photos, record video, and capture audio on your device all without your permission. Admittedly, being aware of what you’re signing up for when you use an app is not exclusive to Facebook Messenger; lots of apps come with sneaky Trojan Horse clauses in their agreement contracts, and while it’s tempting to just hit “accept” on every button, you could be signing away things you disagree with if you don’t actually take the time to read an app’s agreement. Messenger is not alone in its sometimes absurd requests from its users, but it has been vocally criticized in a more public way than most apps have on this issue.
- You need a reliable data plan or regular internet access to make the most of Facebook Messenger. The app can be used online, but one of its advantages is that it allows users to chat over data and Wi-Fi, re-creating the experience of texting without paying for a texting plan. To make sure you can reliably use Messenger, you’ll want to ensure your data and your internet connection(s) are up to snuff. When you consider that Messenger also allows users to swap files, the importance of a good connection is made all the more apparent.
Messenger: How to Sign Up and Log In
Over 900 million people use Facebook Messenger, meaning that the appeal for using the app as a means of catching up with a wide network of friends is especially strong. Even if one doesn’t use Facebook, in using Messenger she is given all the advantages of Facebook’s extended index of people without using the main website’s service — a win-win for those who see utility in Messenger but not Facebook as a whole.
How to Sign Up
When you pull up the screen to log in to Messenger (https://www.messenger.com/login), you will see a login that prompts you to enter the information for your Facebook account. Those who do have Facebook already — who will undoubtedly have the easiest time using Messenger, since it and Facebook are designed with each other in mind — can follow the main prompt. If, however, you want to use the app without being reliant on Facebook, you will need to click on the “Not on Facebook?” button. Although Facebook does provide the option to use Messenger without a Facebook account, on the web login site it does bury that option. Consider the following two screenshots: the first is the login screen for Messenger on mobile, and the second is for the web:
On mobile phones, “Not on Facebook?” is put in bold, all-caps blue lettering, making it apparent that there is another option for those who wish to use Messenger. You’d be forgiven for thinking that option does not exist on the web; “Not on Facebook?” is present, but in small lettering in the bottom left-hand corner of the page. Facebook’s incentive to do this is clear: it wants as many users as possible both on Messenger and on Facebook as a whole, and if it can subtly nudge people in the direction of making a Facebook account, it will do so. On the web version of the two pages pictured above, it sometimes happens that if you click on “Not on Facebook?”, you will be guided to make a Facebook profile. Don’t let this fool you: you can make a Messenger profile without using Facebook.
To create a Messenger account without Facebook, you’ll need to provide Facebook with the following information: name, phone number, and photo. Once you’ve given Facebook that information, your Messenger profile will be generated. From that point on, your phone number will be your main login info.
How to Log In
The website you will use to log in to Facebook Messenger is messenger.com on the web — yes, Facebook is resourceful enough that it was able to get the messenger.com URL all to itself. If you have an iPhone or Android phone, you’ll need to download the separate Messenger app. Messenger is not bundled with the Facebook app; it is its own separate entity.
If you have a Facebook profile, you need only log in with your standard email and username combo.
If you don’t have a Facebook profile, you will log in with your phone number.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose Facebook Messenger?
This is a pretty important question since Messenger is far from the only messaging service out there. There are a few reasons why you might choose Messenger over its competitors:
- You Already Have Facebook: If you have Facebook already, Messenger will be the easiest app to interface with. You’ll already know how to search your friends, and there are plenty of similarities between the Facebook app and the Messenger apps.
- You Want to Use Facebook’s Database: Even if you don’t have Facebook, you might want to use Messenger because it links you up with the service’s millions of users. The ubiquity of Facebook makes it safe for you to assume that anyone you’re looking for is likely to be in the Facebook database somewhere.
- You Can Make Calls: Messenger’s functionality doesn’t just extend to text messaging. People who use the Messenger app can also make voice calls over the application, meaning that if you need a backup option apart from texting, Messenger can fulfill that demand. Admittedly, voice calling is not unique to Messenger, but the app does have a convenient mixture of the two.
How big of a deal is the controversy about Facebook Messenger’s permissions, and should it affect my decision to use it?
The answer to this is not uncomplicated. Truth be told, if you are ultra-concerned about privacy, most apps you’ll download will make you unhappy; surrendering one’s privacy is a seeming prerequisite for any engagement on social media and messenger apps. (The one thing that can be said in the defense of companies that ask for privacy permissions in exchange for use of their apps is that you do get to use the apps for free in most circumstances.
Whatever questions or concerns you have about using Facebook Messenger, the login online portal should not be in your top ten list of concerns. Facebook makes the Messenger login easy, painless, and consistent for all users, whether they’re on Facebook or not.