Earlier this month, Facebook stopped letting users use the messaging feature on its main app. Users were directed to download Messenger to send and receive Facebook messages on their phones.
People hate when Facebook alters anything about its user experience, so it’s no surprise that Facebook Messenger received loads of negative reviews once people were forced to download it on their iPhones and Android devices to view their Facebook messages.
The backlash from Facebook users turned into outrage over what users perceived to be an invasive and creepy set of user permissions on Messenger. But the information Facebook was requesting of its users was, in fact, nothing more creepy or invasive than the permissions required from other apps.
Peter Martinazzi, who works for Facebook on the Messenger team, posted a note on Facebook to address some of the misconceptions people have about their privacy and facebook Messenger:
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.
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. 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.
Why we’re asking people to install Messenger—We’re committed to providing a fast, reliable and fun messaging app that anyone in the world can use to reach the people who matter to them. That’s why we’re focusing just on Messenger and moving messages out of the Facebook app. People usually respond about 20% faster when they have Messenger, and we think they’ll find both apps useful in different ways. We hope you’ll try out Messenger and enjoy everything else you can do with the app, like chatting with groups and sending stickers.
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