Facebook is continuing its assault on SMS and competitors like WeChat and Line today by expanding its “contact via phone number” feature to Messenger for iOS. The option launched on Android to a select set of testers at the end of October, and is being pushed to all Androiders as well as all iOS users. The update is rolling out now and also brings a cleaner layout, and faster start-up and navigation.
The intent is clear. As I detailed last month, Facebook doesn’t want you to have to switch to SMS to contact someone who you have the phone number of but aren’t friends with. It’s watched as startup messaging apps like WeChat and KakaoTalk that rely on phone numbers have risen to huge user counts. Today’s move could box them out, if it’s not too late.
WeChat is thought to have over 200M users, while its Chinese parent…
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