While you could already send and receive messages from people with whom you are not Facebook friends, the new feature aims to go one step further and allow you to connect with those people without having to become Facebook friends.
Until now, sending to and receiving messages from people you weren’t connected with meant your message would go to the “Message request” folder. This obviously diminishes greatly the chances that your message will gets read, let alone get answered. “Add Contact” could come to lower this barrier, allowing you to be connected to people before the conversation even starts. I can also see how Messenger Codes will now have an even greater role to play.
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Could Messenger Grow Bigger Than Facebook Itself?
Messenger counts over 1 billion users worldwide, and could well become a network of its own should this new feature be rolled out to everyone. Facebook is well-aware that Messenger is growing faster than its main platform, and intends to maximise its potential.
Last April, Mark Zuckerberg reminded everyone how important Messenger is for the future of Facebook:
A lot of people want to share messages privately, one-on-one or with very small groups.
I am confident that Messenger will keep on growing. Maybe one day it will even grow bigger than the main Facebook app itself. Now, what I still struggle to understand, is the role that WhatsApp has as part of this ecosystem…