This morning when I opened Facebook on my phone I got a notice pointing to this link: https://www.facebook.com/messengerfacts . It would seem that Facebook is on the defensive after all the bad press about the forced move to FB messenger.
Someone somewhere started a rumor a couple of weeks ago that basically Facebook always listening via the microphone and having the ability to watch you via your camera. The rumor has been republished and recycled so many times that it’s hard to track down the source. Many apps request permission to access your microphone and camera. It’s not a ‘bad’ permission per say. Google search on Android is always listening; How do you think your phone knows when you say “Ok Google” to launch a search? Duh!
I cannot believe the perpetrator of the always watching/listening myth was that really that uninformed. If so they he or she has no business writing tech articles. Me thinks they were being purposely obtuse for the clicks.
Why we’re asking people to install Messenger—We’re committed to providing a fast, reliable and fun messaging app that anyone in the world can use to reach the people who matter to them. That’s why we’re focusing just on Messenger and moving messages out of the Facebook app. People usually respond about 20% faster when they have Messenger, and we think they’ll find both apps useful in different ways. We hope you’ll try out Messenger and enjoy everything else you can do with the app, like chatting with groups and sending stickers.
Marketing double talk aside this is very telling and the reason I won’t install messenger. The bottom line is Facebook wants you to always be available on their network. It’s a business decision. The more people look like they’re available the more you will come to their site to message people. The more time you spend on the site the more likely you are to click on ads and make Facebook money. It’s a simple as that.
I dislike the main FB app for that reason even if you turn off chat availability it will still show a phone symbol next to my name a long with how long it’s been since I checked in. Screw that, when I close the Facebook tab in my browser I don’t want to be available on your network, period. When you have messenger installed you light up green on the FB website any time you use your phone. Wake up at 4am and grab your phone to see what texts have come in? Yup, you’re available on Facebook while you do that. Always on and perpetually available. No Thanks!
Facebook is so invasive about this constant availability that I’ve uninstalled the FB app from my phone. The mobile browser version works just fine and is in many cases faster than the native app. All you miss is the notifications most of which aren’t very important and can wait. The confused looks I get when I tell people I don’t have Facebook on my phone are priceless though. It’s almost like I asked them to sacrifice their first born.