Just about everybody uses Facebook, which means that just about everybody already knows that Facebook is migrating the Messenger functionality out of the core app and into a standalone Facebook Messenger app. What many hadn’t realized, is that the standalone app isn’t new –it’s been around for a couple of years. Part of the news surrounding the shift is a hefty dose of viral paranoia that is mostly out of date and not entirely accurate; many articles have asserted that Messenger is listening to every conversation you have as well as the music you are playing, all in an effort to better target you with advertising.
The good news: Messenger doesn’t listen to your music. The bad news: the regular Facebook app does (so that you are able to share what you are listening to with your friends during the first 15 seconds of your next status update –luckily, disabling this feature is easy to do).
So what got everybody all riled up? It is safe to say that the app’s terms and conditions did the trick:
Knowing that Messenger may be recording your audio without confirmation reasonably makes a lot of people anxious, but it isn’t meant to be the root of all evil. Messenger allows for in-app calling and the sending of voice messages, and asking permission prior to each task would become monotonous and annoying –it isn’t as if the app is designed to record and share 24/7.
It is good that people are paying attention to security and potential risks to their personal data. It is less good that misunderstood information can spread so quickly.
If you haven’t yet installed Facebook Messenger for Android, and you don’t want to miss out on notes from all of the friends while you are using a mobile device, download it now for free.