Will Facebook Eventually Replace Texting?

Many of us use Facebook to communicate with our friends, but is the social networking site making a move to play an even larger role in online communication? Recently, Facebook has created a new app for messaging that does not require a Facebook account to use. Only your phone number and name are required for the use of this messenger app, so you can chat with your contacts without having to use Facebook.  Although people are wondering if services such as this one will replace the traditional SMS, I am hesitant to agree. The key to making this service successful will be making messenger convenient to use, otherwise people won’t use it, even if it is a free service. Ideally, the facebook app would have to be integrated into the cell phone, and that process has already begun with the Facebook Messenger for Andriod 2.0, which sends your texts to messager and your traditional SMS client.  More about this version of messenger can be found here: http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/20/3364142/facebook-messenger-for-android-sms-threading.  Facebook has also given some thought about producing their own smart phones, which if successful, would open lots of different possibilities for messaging services. More about the challenges Facebook faces in entering the cell phone industry can be found here: http://techland.time.com/2012/05/29/facebook-phone-rumored-again-but-fundamental-questions-remain/.

But until we receive more specific information about a Facebook phone, I don’t think that traditional texting will be left behind for Facebook messenger anytime soon. There are already many services that provide free messaging for phones, why should Facebook’s be so different? The new app is only available in Australia, India, South Africa and Venezuela for the moment, and in these areas it is more expensive to send text messages, so it is understandable that this service would be more valuable internationally.

 

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5 Responses to Will Facebook Eventually Replace Texting?

  1. caseylynn122 says:

    This is an interesting topic, I have a smart phone and it notifies me when I get a Facebook message, so I do use the two fairly interchangeably. However, I may use texting a little more on my phone because my plan has unlimited texting and a limited amount of data. I could see how someone elsewhere with more data than texts would do the opposite though.

  2. maddiegogo says:

    I agree that Facebook messaging will not be replacing traditionally texting anytime soon, or at least until the cost of data plans are a little bit more reasonable. I know that personally I try to avoid using Facebook on my phone unless I am in a wifi area to avoid using unnecessary data.

    A thought that just came into my head as I am writing this though is perhaps with international texting. I am not sure the cost but maybe as more people are trying to communicate across borders Facebook messaging might become a cheaper alternative to texting. Would anyone know now how expensive it is or isn’t to text internationally?

  3. mfrohman says:

    I had never heard of any of these new Facebook technologies until reading this post! The closet integration of SMS texting and Facebook messenger I had ever heard of was with the Facebook messenger app on iPhones, which I utilize. I did not know that Android users had the option to communicate on Facebook chat via SMS- this is very interesting to me. What is the point of this option being created? Isn’t Facebook chat meant to be communication on the internet and SMS meant to be communication between mobile devices? Why merge the two? I do not think that Facebook will replace text messaging, and I certainly hope it will not. There has been such an increase in the merging of websites onto mobile phones, and I think this is becoming a problem. While it is convenient that every online website can be accessed via a mobile device, I think this is a mistake. These sites were not originally created to do so; websites should remain on the computer and text messaging should remain on phones. There is no need to blur these lines as they have been for the past several years.

  4. julianami says:

    Facebook is definitely not the only company trying to find ways to replace traditional texting. I think I actually disagree with the idea that Facebook messaging won’t be able to replace texting. Many companies have made applications that send messages over data, and if you look at the stats behind it, these applications actually use very little data. Many people have unlimited messaging and limited data plans, but the minuscule amount of data used is pretty insignificant. Plus, many places now offer free wifi, especially on campus. You can go just about anywhere and access a wifi network, and it’s very possible to operate on only 200mb (probably the lowest plan offered) of data/month. Besides Facebook messenger, there are other apps, such as WeChat, that allow users to text/message over a data connection. There are a lot of other benefits to using these apps, for example, you can text anyone anywhere in the world and not have to pay international texting. You can also use a lot more emoticons/expressions, as well as send photos, voice recordings, and videos, simply over wifi without having to pay for MMS. These services also offer group chatrooms, etc… and it’s these features that will eventually put them ahead of traditional texting.

  5. aserafim says:

    I believe Facebook won’t replace texting because not everyone has a Facebook profile. Many people do having a cell phone. With expensive data plans, many people cannot afford a smartphone, which means they cannot use Facebook chat. A basic cell phone allows for regular texting without expensive data plans, and the majority of phones worldwide are basic phones. I prefer regular texting over Facebook chat when talking to my friends even though all of them are on Facebook. Plus, when I text internationally, I use an application called Viber that allows talking and texting over cellular data or WiFi.

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