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In a bid to eliminate the dependence on phone numbers for communication, Facebook has begun rolling out a new method that the millions who use the Messenger app will be using to contact other people without using their phone numbers.

In a new update that the company says will be rolling out over the next few days, users will no longer need to have your phone number to contact you using this social networking platform. All that is needed, according to David Markus, is the Facebook Messenger app and your name. It also means that there is no need of having to add someone to your list of Facebook friends to communicate with them; you only need to know the name they use on the platform and be a user of the Messenger chat app, and that is it!

Well, it was still possible for strangers to send you a message on Facebook, but one had to go through thick and thin to read this message. The basic thing here was that one had to be using the desktop platform to access these messages. The messages were stored in a folder known as “Other”, but this is no more as the new Message Requests feature has eliminated this folder from the main app and now one can decide on receiving the message or ignoring it without alerting the sender of the message.

In his Facebook post, Markus said that your normal inbox will still be flooded with messages from the people you are already friends with on Facebook or those who are already synced on your mobile device. However, everything else will remain in thepending state, excluding all spam requests.

Facebook turning Messenger into an all-around app

Rather than use the Facebook Messenger app for keeping in touch with friends when on the go, it seems Facebook has other ideas with this app. In a bid to try and incline the app towards monetizing its services, the social networking giant wants you to use this application for your business dealings as well as get a whole lot of other things done.

These new Message Requests feature probably a smart addition to the company, especially when you look at it from a business perspective. The update will also boost the company’s goal of incorporating third party services into the app, just like with the cases of Asia’s WeChat and LINE.

Privacy concerns may escalate

When Facebook introduced the blue ticks feature in WhatsApp, many people were quick to write off the feature, citing privacy concerns as the main reason. The same company has also come up with another feature that is probably going to trigger the same reactions from users of Facebook Messenger.

Some may feel that the fact that a stranger can send you a message is privacy intrusion. However, the good side of the story is that one can choose to ignore the messages without alerting the sender. Also, the new Message Requests have streamlined the handling of messages so that it is easy to tell whether a message is coming from someone you know or a stranger. Furthermore, since you can easily contact someone without sending him/her a friend request, it saves time as the message can now be sent directly from Facebook Messenger.