Is Facebook forcing users to download Messenger?

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ATLANTA - Facebook is no longer asking its users if they want to download the Messenger app, but rather, forcing them to if they want to be able to message people directly.

A blue icon on your phone separate from your Facebook icon may mean you have already downloaded it. So what does it all mean?

Gregory Evans, CEO of High Tech Crime Solutions said it is Facebook’s attempt at staying relevant, but he does not care for how it is happening.

“You have no other choice but to download it, that's the problem,” he said.

The user may have already given permission to access contacts, phone log, pictures, videos, texting, personal info, microphone, and more when they downloaded Facebook the first time.

“When you install their apps you're agreeing to all of this, even though you didn't read the fine print,” Evans said.

While Evans said there is no extra danger, Channel 2 Consumer Adviser Clark Howard says it comes down to one question.

“Do you trust Facebook or not?” he asked. “If you trust Facebook, go ahead and do it. If you don't trust Facebook, why do you use it at all?”

Simply put, if you don’t give permission, then you do not get to use Facebook messenger.

“If you're not messaging people and they're not messaging you, why are you on Facebook?” Howard said.

Howard told Channel 2’s Wendy Corona he feels Facebook is getting punished for something that is not their fault.

Even he was forced to ask all the same things of people who wanted to download his app.

It is something Google requires.


Channel 2 Action News

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