Facebook no longer requires users of its standalone Messenger app to have a Facebook account. Instead, they can sign up with a name, phone number and photo.
The feature is only available in Canada, the US, Peru and Venezuela for now, though the app has 600 million users globally.
“With this update, more people can enjoy all the features that are available on Messenger – including photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, stickers and more. All you need is a phone number,” the company said in a blog post.
However, it pointed out that logging in with a Facebook account has the added advantage of easy access to contacts and multi-device messaging.
In March, Facebook launched the Messenger Platform for developers with hopes of extending the capabilities of its Messenger app.
Earlier this month, Messenger got its first game called Doodle Draw.
Facebook has also been busy adding video calling to the app and updating its location sharing feature.