There have been whispers recently that Facebook isn’t as popular as it used to be. More and more people are deactivating or abandoning their accounts in favor of the plethora of other social media options that the Internet holds, and Mark Zuckerberg is listening. One of Facebook’s primary features, Facebook Messenger, can now be used without a Facebook account. Meaning it can be a standalone messaging service that you can sign into using just your name and phone number.

While this doesn’t change anything for the Facebook Messenger users who already have a Facebook account, will the app be any different for non-Facebook users? Not really. While the app will have to use phone contacts rather than Facebook friends, and will only work on phones rather than the web, everything else will be pretty much the same. You can still make in-app purchases, as well as use stickers and make voice and video calls.

Now, Messenger is joining the ranks of services like WhatsApp or Viber, which allow users to message anyone in the world as long as they are also on the app. These apps even the playing field among different carriers and smartphones, so an iPhone can easily talk to an Android using the same platform.

Right now, this feature is available in the US, Canada and Venezuela. No word on when the app will open up to other countries, but it’s safe to assume that this is the first step in Facebook expanding from being just a social media network to Internet domination. And you can still accidentally find your grandma on it.

(Image via and here)