Instant Messenger on Facebook: Pros and Cons

Instant Messaging on Facebook

What’s the Deal with Facebook Messenger App?

The Facebook mobile app gives you access to your timeline through an icon on your phone. Facebook Messenger app is a supplement app that allows you to send and receive messages via Facebook.

If you don’t have Facebook Messenger installed on your mobile phone, you will get a notification of a new message via Facebook (the red notification icon will appear over the message bubble), but you won’t be able to open, respond to or view the message without the Facebook Messenger app.

So, should you download Facebook Messenger?

Pros of Facebook Messenger

The main benefit of Facebook Messenger is the ease of which you can send and receive messages with contacts (much like regular cell phone texting). Other pros of downloading Facebook Messenger include:

  • Speed. You can send and receive messages more quickly via the app than if you needed to load the mobile browser.
  • Similarity to texting. The style of sending a message via Facebook Messenger is similar to sending a text message on your mobile phone. However, it’s free. For people with mobile phones that charge for texting, this is a valuable feature.
  • Sharing. You can quickly share files, images and links.
  • Easy phone calls. The app’s audio connects you to either another individual or a group. This feature is especially handy for those calling loved ones outside of the United States.

Cons of Facebook Messenger

The main drawback of Facebook Messenger is the lack of privacy. By downloading the app, you agree to allow Facebook access to any and all audio recordings. Other drawbacks include:

  • Privacy. The terms and conditions include recording audio at any time. For many, this is a major privacy breach.
  • It’s intrusive. Because the app is so similar to texting, it can be a distraction. Constant message notifications can keep you from working on more important matters.
  • Battery sucks. When activated, Facebook Messenger is always running in the background, which means it pulls from your battery life.
  • No easy alternative. If you use the Facebook mobile app, you are required to use Facebook Messenger to send messages via Facebook. This means you cannot read messages within the app if you have not installed Facebook Messenger. You will get the notification that you’ve received a message, but you won’t be able to read it on your mobile phone.
  • Storage. The Facebook app and Facebook Messenger use a combined 100+ MB of storage space on your mobile device.

The Bottom Line

If privacy is your main concern, you should look at the fine print of other apps on your phone. The Washington Post revealed that the information Facebook Messenger requests is no different than that requested by popular apps like WeatherBug, RunKeeper and the popular Kim Kardashian game.

If you rely on Facebook as a means to connect with others via text, Facebook Messenger is likely critical to maintaining your personal or business life. In this case, downloading Facebook Messenger will be the most convenient option.

Additional Resources





  • Messenger, by Facebook, Inc., available on iTunes for free
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