Facebook announced today that users of its Messenger will now be able to use it to send and receive SMS and MMS, although the function will only be available on Android. “We know that people receive messages via both SMS and Messenger – for example your best friend sends you GIFs on Messenger whilst your mom only uses SMS – we want to make it easier to stay in touch with all the people you care about. We hope that this new choice will bring the convenience of being able to access all your messages in one place, making your messaging a lot simpler and helping you stay on top of your conversations,” stated Facebook on its Messenger page.
The new feature is rolling out today globally. In order to use it, you need to open Settings in your Messenger, select SMS from the list and turn on “Default SMS app”. From then on you can receive and send SMS in your Messenger. To distinguish SMS from chat messages, the prior will be in purple, while the latter will be in blue.
As for the privacy issues, Facebook said: “SMS in Messenger doesn’t send, upload or store your conversations on Facebook servers. All messages are sent and received via SMS.”
The feature is only available on Android. iOS doesn’t currently support app permissions for accessing text messages/SMS. However, when you send an SMS message, the recipient can be on any platform.