Facebook Messenger App Growing in Popularity Amid Privacy Concerns, General Complaints

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 24, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The Facebook Messenger app, which many people have criticized as invasive and unnecessary, has continued to grow in popularity, according to a report.

GlobalWebIndex posted an infographic, showing that the app’s adoption is growing around the world.

“The impact of Facebook removing the messaging function from its main app and requiring people to migrate to its dedicated Messenger service can be seen clearly in GlobalWebIndex’s most recent data. If we look at a market like the UK, usage jumped from 27% at the end of 2013 to 40% in the middle of 2014 – a clear sign that its tactic has paid dividends,” the report said on Wednesday.

But on Apple’s iTunes, the app still had overwhelmingly negative reviews.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that Facebook is forcing people to get this app by denying them a choice between having it and not having it. There is no gain for them other than access to everyone’s personal information. In order to force people to comply they have made it impossible for us to check messages on any device other than a computer,” wrote one person, describing Facebook as “communist” for forcing the app on people. “This creates such inconvenience that people are forced against there will to download this app.”

After the app was panned over its terms of service, Facebook issued a response a few weeks ago.

“You might have heard the rumors going around about the Messenger app. Some have claimed that the app is always using your phone’s camera and microphone to see and hear what you’re doing. These reports aren’t true, and many have been corrected. Still, we want to address some concerns you might have,” wrote Facebook’s Peter Martinazzi weeks ago.

“How we actually use the camera and microphone—Like most other apps, we request permission to run certain features, such as making calls and sending photos, videos or voice messages,” he added. “If you want to send a selfie to a friend, the app needs permission to turn on your phone’s camera and capture that photo. We don’t turn on your camera or microphone when you aren’t using the app.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.