Facebook messenger privacy concerns: Fb Is Making The Messenger App Even Harder To Avoid

Facebook FB +0.01% started forcing its mobile app users to download a separate app for messaging called Messenger. Many Facebook users were not happy with the changes, but CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said the separate app provides a “better experience” as “messaging is becoming increasingly important.” Facebook users that did not want to download the separate Messenger app were able to find a workaround by using the mobile web app. People have mixed feelings about having to use a separate Facebook Messenger app. Many users either cannot download the app for certain reasons or they simply prefer to avoid it. But the Facebook Messenger app is used to send out billions of messages per day by more than 900 million users, many of whom are big fans of the separate app. Plus the Messenger app offers extra features like video messaging and digital stickers. In select countries, Facebook offers an app called Facebook Lite. Facebook Lite uses less data, loads quickly, works on all networks including 2G and supports most Android phones. Facebook Lite also has a minimalistic messaging user interface that looks similar to the one that was built in the original Facebook app. Facebook Messenger has been growing at a rapid pace so it presents a major revenue opportunity for the social network. Last year, Facebook launched the Business On Messenger platform — which enables brands to chat one-on-one or to as many users as possible. And that platform allows brands to personalize communication styles such as offering a “Buy This” button for product messages. In April of this year, Facebook also announced another major Business on Messenger feature: the bots for Messenger platform. Some of the brands that have bots on Facebook Messenger include 1-800-Flowers.com, Burger King, Expedia EXPE -0.1% and HP . These brands allow you to order products without having to leave the Messenger app. The estimated business for customer support via messaging represents a $4 billion revenue opportunity, according to Evercore Group LLC via The Wall Street Journal. As Facebook Messenger grows, it may encourage hackers to spread malware on the platform. Fortunately, Facebook has been vigilant at addressing potential vulnerabilities in the Messenger app. For example, Facebook patched a Messenger vulnerability discovered by Check Point Software CHKP -0.85% Technologies researchers this past week -- which would have allowed hackers to access chat history and manipulate the links and files sent in a chat session without the victim knowing. “This bug affected the Android Messenger interface, but the message content was still correctly reflected on other platforms. We also confirmed that the content self-corrected on Android when the application refetched message data from the server, so it wasn't permanently changed,” said Facebook in a blog post. “Based on our investigation, this simple misconfiguration in the Messenger app on Android turned out to be a low risk issue and it's already been fixed. We appreciate the whitehat researchers who reported it and helped us create a better experience for all the people who use Messenger.”