Why Does Facebook Messenger Need So Many Permissions?

Oh, Facebook… why must you always get everybody so worked up? We’ve been happily replying to messages from within the Facebook app for years, but now suddenly, we must download a whole new app that wants a whole lot of permissions on our phone?

While Facebook may market their Facebook Messenger app as “free texting from Facebook,” (in an age when everyone basically has unlimited texting to begin with) the new mandatory app requires quite a lot of permissions.

When installing the app, you’re prompted to allow Facebook Messenger to access your camera, microphone, and contacts. According to Facebook, here’s why each item is needed:

  • Take pictures and video: this is to allow Facebook Messenger to send picture messages
  • Record audio: this allows the app to send video and voice messages
  • Call Phone Numbers and Receive Text Messages: Android users will see this in order to allow the app to use the messaging and free VOIP calling features within the app
  • Contacts: this allows Facebook Messenger to see which of your contacts are also using the same app

Apple users: remember that if you change your mind, you have the option of going to your phone’s Settings > Privacy area to turn off these features as you see fit.

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