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Facebook wants to kill off your phone number entirely

Its head of messaging believes the popularity of apps like Messenger is making old communication methods disappear.

Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

SMARTPHONES HAVE BEEN much more than just phones for a long time, to the point where calls and texts are afterthoughts when compared to the many things we can do with them.

And for Facebook’s head of messaging David Marcus, he believes that 2016 will lead to the “disappearance of the phone number” since apps like Messenger make old methods of communication irrelevant.

“SMS and texting came to the fore in the time of flip phones”, said Marcus. “Now, many of us can do so much more on our phones, we went from just making phone calls and sending basic text-only messages to having computers in our pockets. And just like the flip phone is disappearing, old communication styles are disappearing too”.

The reason Marcus made this statement was because Messenger now has 800 million people using it every month, and since it doesn’t require a Facebook account to use, he believes it will become the central hub for messaging and other services.

Facebook has major plans for Messenger and wants to make it more than just a messaging app.

In the US, the company is allowing users to interact with businesses by purchasing goods or following up on orders.

It’s also testing out a virtual assistant called M, which uses a mixture of AI and people to offer help and suggestions. Marcus says it’s “still very, very early days” but it was bringing “unparalleled convenience to simple, everyday tasks”.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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