Facebook Messenger for Mobile No Longer Requires a Facebook Account

Facebook today announced that its Messenger app no longer requirees a Facebook account to be used. The app, which until now has been relatively redundant to the main Facebook app, now takes on a new meaning: it becomes a competitor to apps like WhatsApp and Kik that bypass SMS through data usage.

“Starting today, you can create a Messenger account with just your name and phone number, and start messaging your mobile contacts,” says the social network. “Just install the app and tap Get Started to reach your contacts faster, start group conversations, share photos and more.”

Messenger is only being updated in this regard on the Android platform. If it comes to BlackBerry at any point, it will compete directly with RIM’s BBM; and if it launches on iOS, it will compete with Apple’s iMessage. We’re guessing Facebook launched on Android first because it doesn’t yet have an “official” SMS bypasser.