Facebook is rolling out a new update which will prevent some new users from accessing Messenger.
The social network is currently working on a plan to integrate all the services it owns, which could mean that messages pass seamlessly between Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Now it’s announced a new policy which requires all new users of Messenger to have a Facebook account in order to chat with their contacts.
‘If you’re new to Messenger, you’ll notice that you need a Facebook account to chat with friends and close connections,” a spokesperson said.
‘We found that the vast majority of people who use Messenger already log in through Facebook and we want to simplify the process.
‘If you already use Messenger without a Facebook account, no need to do anything.’
However, the change could be a sign of things to come as Zuck merges the three apps into one huge social network to rule them all.
Currently, you only need to give WhatsApp a phone number in order to open an account, meaning it can be used in relative anonymity.
To start a Facebook profile, you need to hand over much more information and your page must be operated under its ‘real name’ policy.
Critics of Facebook fear that Zuckerberg is secretly planning to introduce a similar mechanism to WhatsApp which will stop them from using it anonymously.
However, this is only speculation at this stage and Facebook’s strategy is likely to be informed by customer’s reaction to its latest update.
Facebook has already angered some users by renaming its apps ‘WhatsApp from Facebook’ and ‘Instagram from Facebook’.
Users of the world’s most popular messaging app threatened to delete their accounts because it introduced a small ‘From Facebook’ message to its loading screen.
Those two fateful little words appear on screen every time you open the app and it’s beginning to irk some people.
‘Seeing “WhatsApp from Facebook” makes me want to delete it,’ one user roared on Twitter.
‘Another added: ‘Gonna delete WhatsApp.
‘Don’t like that ‘from Facebook’ at the bottom when it loads
A further unhappy Whatsapper then tweeted: ‘Welp! Since now Instagram and WhatsApp using ‘from Facebook’ as their welcome page, I am considering to delete Instagram and slowly fully moving into Telegram.’
Really want to delete WhatsApp every time I see this ‘from Facebook’ loading page pic.twitter.com/fUVQ9GJf29
— Jamie Anderson 😷 (@aultered) December 5, 2019
A few weeks ago, Facebook announced new corporate branding and said it would start adding the words ‘from Facebook’ to its portfolio of products.
As well as Whatsapp, the phrase is also used for Instagram and Oculus, a company which makes futuristic VR gaming headsets.
In a blog, Facebook wrote: ‘Facebook started as a single app. Now, 15 years later, we offer a suite of products that help people connect to their friends and family, find communities and grow businesses.
‘These apps and technologies have shared infrastructure for years and the teams behind them frequently work together.
‘This is the next step in our effort to be clearer about the products and services from Facebook.
‘The new company branding is designed to help us better represent the diversity of products we build, establish distinction from the Facebook app and communicate our purpose in the world.’
In January it became known that Facebook wanted chats and messages to pass seamlessly between Insta, WhatsApp and Facebook itself.
All messages sent between the three apps will be encrypted so that only the sender and recipient can see them.
And by renaming the two popular apps, Facebook says it will ‘be clearer about the products and services that are part of Facebook’.
As well as seeing the new names in the apps themselves, users will also see it on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store. It will remind all users that Instagram and WhatsApp are very much a part of Facebook even though they look different.
Zuckerberg said all apps will be part of a ‘privacy-focused social network’.
‘People want to be able to choose which service they use to communicate with people,’ he wrote in a blog post.
‘However, today if you want to message people on Facebook you have to use Messenger, on Instagram you have to use Direct, and on WhatsApp you have to use WhatsApp.
‘We want to give people a choice so they can reach their friends across these networks from whichever app they prefer.’