There may be reasons not to install Facebook Messenger App but permission should not be one of them

My own research confirms that the Facebook Messenger app for Android actually request one permission less than the main Facebook Android app.

messengerFacebook has begun splitting out messenger from the main Facebook app. Although Facebook Messenger has been available for many months, Facebook began notifying users this week that the chat feature will be phased out and the only way to receive Facebook messages will be to install the Facebook Messenger app.

Anything Facebook does is usually accompanied by a slew of misinformation. In this case, the Internet is abuzz with talk of insidious and over reaching permission requests, much of it attributed to this article posted last year by Sam Fiorella. But as the Washington Post points out in this article by Caitlin Dewey, Facebook Messenger App is no more invasive than any other app.

My own research confirms that the Facebook Messenger app for Android actually request one permission fewer than the main Facebook Android app. So if you are already using the Facebook app, you reveal nothing new in adding the Facebook Messenger app.

There may be reasons you may not want to install Facebook Messenger but privacy and permission should not be one of them if you already use the Facebook app. As to why Facebook wants to break out Messenger, I can only speculate that breaking out Messenger gives them the ability to develop this app much more quickly and efficiently without affecting the main Facebook app. The mobile market is moving toward messenger services such as WhatsApp which Facebook bought in February 2014 for a staggering 16 billion.

For those who use Facebook Messenger much more than Facebook, having a dedicated app will use fewer resources which should translate to better battery life, lower cpu usage, and faster response times.

What can you do if you don’t want to allow these permissions? Well you can still use Facebook on your mobile browser. Just uninstall the Facebook apps and you’re good to go. Of course, you’ll lose many of the features like full integration with your phone.

To see a list of Facebook Android App permissions, go to Google Play, search for the Facebook App and click the green install/installed button. To see a list of Facebook Messenger Android App permissions, go to Google Play, search for Facebook Messenger and click the green install/installed button.

 

Facebook Android App Permissions Facebook Messenger Android App Permissions
Device & app history:Allows the app to view one or more of: information about activity on the device, which apps are running, browsing history and bookmarks
Identity:Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data Identity:Uses one or more of: accounts on the device, profile data
Contacts/Calendar:Uses one or more of: calendar, contact information Contacts/Calendar:Uses one or more of: calendar, contact information
Location:Uses the device’s location Location:Uses the device’s location
SMS:Uses one or more of: SMS, MMS. Charges may apply. SMS:Uses one or more of: SMS, MMS. Charges may apply.
Phone:Uses one or more of: phone, call log. Charges may apply. Phone:Uses one or more of: phone, call log. Charges may apply.
Photos/Media/Files:Uses one or more of: files on the device such as images, videos, or audio, the device’s external storage Photos/Media/Files:Uses one or more of: files on the device such as images, videos, or audio, the device’s external storage
Camera/Microphone:Uses one or more of: camera(s), microphone(s) Camera/Microphone:Uses one or more of: camera(s), microphone(s)
Wi-Fi connection information:Allows the app to view information about Wi-Fi networking, such as whether Wi-Fi is enabled and names of connected Wi-Fi devices Wi-Fi connection information:Allows the app to view information about Wi-Fi networking, such as whether Wi-Fi is enabled and names of connected Wi-Fi devices
Device ID & call information:Allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call Device ID & call information:Allows the app to determine the phone number and device IDs, whether a call is active, and the remote number connected by a call
 Facebook Android App Permissions  Facebook Messenger Android App Permissions