Facebook has silently removed the ability to create a Messenger account without an active Facebook profile. The change only affects new signups.
Back in 2015, Facebook introduced a new feature that allows people to create an account on Messenger without having a Facebook profile. Many people rejoiced at the time, particularly those who never wanted a Facebook account in the first place, or those who can’t access the platform because of government controls. At the time, it was undoubtedly a great way for Facebook to get more people onto its family of apps.
But now, while many of you were enjoying our turkey (or whatever else you were doing in the last week or so), Facebook removed the feature. As of December 26th, you need an active Facebook profile to sign up for Messenger. However, you can still use credentials from your deactivated Facebook profile to use the messaging app.
A Facebook spokesperson explained that “the vast majority of people who use Messenger already log in through Facebook,” so the reason for this change was to “simplify the process.” However, we all know that this doesn’t simplify the process for anyone apart from people who already have a Facebook profile, so we can only assume that Facebook has other reasons for this move – ones it’s not telling us about.
For example, it’s become more and more apparent that Facebook is moving towards an eventual unification of its services – messaging or otherwise. Apart from creating a more unified messaging experience across its apps earlier this year, back in November, Facebook launched its new company brand featuring its logo in shades belonging to its various apps, and the “from Facebook” phrase to its apps.
How to use Messenger without a Facebook profile
To use Messenger without having an active Facebook profile, there are two options depending on your current situation. If you had a Facebook profile but deactivated it, you can use the same email and password to log into Messenger.
If you never had a Facebook profile in the first place, you can always sign up, deactivate it, and THEN use Messenger with the same credentials. Theoretically, that is.