Recently, Facebook announced that users will be able to send and receive SMS via its Android based Messenger app. Users will have all of their conversations in one app and they will no longer have to switch between apps when they send messages through SMS and Messenger.
This is pretty awesome, if you think about it. However, it goes against the Google Play Store policies by aggressively pushing the app to users for their SMS messages.
The aggressive part was highlighted on Twitter by Amir Ifrati from The Information where he stated that Messenger users are prompted to use the app for SMS and that there isn’t a ‘No’ option there to allow them to decide if they really want to use that feature.
It only shows a blue ‘Ok’ button plus a Settings link. As there’s no obvious way to refuse this, it’s a clear violation of the Google Play Store rules which clearly state that any changes made to an Android device must by done with the consent of the user.
Basically, without a ‘No’ button, you might think that it’s ok to have this feature when, in fact, it should clearly be optional. If you’re a user and you press ‘Ok’, Facebook Messenger becomes the default app for your SMS messages and maybe you don’t want that to happen.
However, there is a solution for this problem. If you don’t want to activate the feature, choose the Settings link and from there, you’ll be able to decline the activation of this particular service.
Because this is something that can be done, Facebook is not really forcing users to activate this feature, but it’s still aggressively pushing it forward. Also, because you cannot decline it from the very beginning, Google might view it as being deceptive.
So far, neither Facebook, nor Google have stated anything regarding this situation.