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Facebook kills SMS, brings your age-old SMS texting to Messenger’s Android app

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If you still send SMSes (Short Message Service, for those of us who have forgotten the existence of such a thing), there’s now one more reason — and an astounding one at that — to believe that the service might soon be dead, and dead in every literal sense. Why you ask ? Because Facebook is getting into the game.

First announced in 2012, then rolled back in 2013 to divert focus towards possible further strengthening of messenger’s userbase and then relaunched on a test basis in February this year, Facebook is today globally rolling out Messenger’s ability to be your SMS app as well, for Android users. What this basically implies, is that you will now have the choice to be able to send and receive your SMS/texts in Messenger and will not have go to different screens on your phone to communicate.

Facebook’s intention behind this global rollout is pretty much understandable. The company has a massive Messenger userbase now, next only to its own Whatsapp, with signs of continued growth. With enabling of SMS feature, the social networking behemoth is touting Messenger as your one stop solution to all of your texting needs.

The company in fact gives a pretty convinving example to prove the same. It says,

For example your best friend sends you GIFs on Messenger whilst your mom only uses SMS – we want to make it easier to stay in touch with all the people you care about. We hope that this new choice will bring the convenience of being able to access all your messages in one place, making your messaging a lot simpler and helping you stay on top of your conversations!

And while Facebook’s Whatsapp already has a userbase close to India’s total population, with enabling of in-SMS feature in Messenger, the company is looking to acquire the rest of non-Whatsapp users globally, who are preferably using SMS as their medium of text communication.

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And the working ? As breezy as it can get for any of Facebook’s products :

1. Open Messenger and tap on Settings (the person icon)
2. Select “SMS” from the list
3. Turn on “Default SMS app”

Now you can view and respond to your SMS conversations in Messenger. Your SMS conversations will be in purple and your Messenger conversations will be in blue.

What else do you need to know?

SMS in Messenger supports standard text, images, videos, and audio, but also rich content like stickers, emojis, and location sharing. You’ll have to use regular Messenger to send GIFs, send money, make voice & video calls, and request transportation.

The feature is only available on Android. However, when you send an SMS message, the recipient can be on any platform.

SMS in Messenger doesn’t send, upload or store your conversations on Facebook servers. All messages are sent and received via SMS. Standard SMS, regular text fees apply. Regular, non-SMS messages sent/received on Messenger will continue to use data.

Using this feature is your choice; you can easily switch to a different app as your primary SMS app from your device settings, or directly from the app that you want to make your primary SMS app.


Editor-at-large and co-founder at The Tech Portal. He is a tech enthusiast with interests in new-age technology fields like Ai, Machine Learning, AR/VR, Outer Space and related stuff. Drop him a mail anytime, very reachable.


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