Why Facebook Will Have Trouble Killing the Text Message

Tech

Facebook has started to roll out a new version of its Messenger app for Android that only requires a name and a phone number, not an actual Facebook account, to sign up.

Although the new Facebook Messenger app is only available in a handful of countries for now–Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Venezuela–it will eventually roll out to the United States and elsewhere, allowing users to chat with their phone contacts even if they’re not using Facebook. This news has set the tech world atwitter with proclamations that the new Messenger is an assault on the lowly text message (including one such proclamation from Facebook itself).

It’s a nice thought, at least. Given that a single text to your neighbor can cost more than a data transmission from Mars, who wouldn’t relish the idea of wireless carriers getting their comeuppance? In reality, though, standard SMS has…

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