Facebook finally explains why Facebook Messenger asks for ridiculous app permissions

Facebook Messenger for Android Permissions Explained

Facebook has recently decided to force all its mobile users to install its Facebook Messenger application for messaging purposes rather than letting them chat via the official Facebook mobile app. The move wasn’t received well at all by Facebook users and Android users in particular have been wondering why the Messenger app needs so much access to various phone resources in order to offer messaging features. To put their concerns to rest, Facebook explained on a new support page why Messenger needs so many permissions.

“If you install the Messenger app, you should see a screen letting you know that the app is asking for your permission to access information or use features from your Android phone or tablet,” the company wrote. “Almost all apps need certain permissions to run on Android, and we use these permissions to run features in the app. Keep in mind that Android controls the way the permissions are named, and the way they’re named doesn’t necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them.”

Facebook also listed some of the permissions its Android apps requires, alongside actual examples of how they’re used by the app, as follows below:

  • Take pictures and videos: This permission allows you to take photos and videos within the Messenger app to easily send to your friends and other contacts
  • Record audio: This permission allows you to send voice messages, make free voice calls, and send videos within Messenger
  • Directly call phone numbers: This permission allows you to call a Messenger contact by tapping on the person’s phone number, found in a menu within your message thread with the person
  • Receive text messages (SMS): If you add a phone number to your Messenger account, this allows you to confirm your phone number by finding the confirmation code that we send via text message
  • Read your contacts: This permission allows you to add your phone contacts as Messenger contacts if you choose to do so. You can always stop syncing your phone contacts by going to your Messenger settings
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