Facebook’s promise to ‘kill the phone number’ by 2016 took another step to becoming a reality on Tuesday.
The company announced that users on Android will now be able to send and receive SMS from its Messenger app.
“Today we are enabling people to use SMS in Messenger for Android to communicate with their family, friends and phone contacts. What this means is you will now have the choice to be able to send and receive your SMS/texts in Messenger and will not have go to different screens on your phone to communicate,” Facebook said in a post.
The new feature is optional but to enable it, users will need to change the settings in the Messenger app. Head over to Settings, then select ‘SMS’ and then ‘Default SMS app’.
Once enabled, SMS chat threads will then appear in purple, while regular Messenger conversations remain blue. Regular SMS fees will still apply.
The new feature doesn’t only support text and images but also supports stickers, GIFs and emojis, just like regular Facebook Messenger messages.
Adding SMS support is the latest move by Facebook to try and persuade users to make Messenger their go to app for all their chat needs and more.
As well as adding SMS support, it also recently added chatbots, that perform tasks for users such as ordering food or booking an Uber.
Facebook also recently announced that it will remove its chat function from its mobile site, forcing people to download the Messenger app if they want to be able to chat with their friends.
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.