In case you missed the memo, Facebook is getting pretty scary. In any situation where you are getting a great service for free, you need to remember that you are not the customer, you’re the product and for Facebook this is especially true. There was the heinous ‘psychological experiment’ done in 2012 and now, Facebook is demanding that users download their add-on app Facebook Messenger. I say demanding because you can’t actually see your messages unless you’ve downloaded this app.
Oh but how can it be worrying?! Look at those cute stickers! That weird looking jellyfish thing! So cute! Actually, the cynical side of me says these stickers, if anything, make Facebook’s recent Messenger demands even creepier. Facebook has attempted to make this move as endearing and simple as possible but judging by recent Play Store reviews, it’s not going down all that well and people are generally, rightfully, outraged.
Here are just some of the permissions Facebook Messengers has:
- Ability to change network connectivity
- Ability to call people without your intervention
- Ability to record with microphone
- Ability to take photographs and videos with the camera
- Ability to read your call log, incoming and outgoing as well as saving it which could be shared with harmful apps
Are you worried yet? Me too. The thing is, nobody seems to be leaving Facebook and of course, now that we’re used to such a high level of connectivity, we can’t just throw our collective toys out of the pram and move to a different social network (unless we want always be limited to 140 words which, in the case of some people I have on Facebook, might be a blessing in disguise) so what can we do until the inevitable time that a new social network takes over?
We find alternatives.
Of course there is always Skype. Skype is available on most platforms, is incredibly popular and for the most part, is free. Then there is WhatsApp but that was recently bought by Facebook so maybe not and then of course there is Google Hangouts which is admittedly fantastic and brands love it. If you want to talk to your Facebook friends, though, there is IM+
IM+ isn’t completely free and you do need to pay to use Skype and some other messaging applications but it’s only £2.78. With less security demands and hey, you can talk to your Facebook friends without feeling like Facebook is breathing down your neck. But it does have a lot of messaging apps in one place, it is a lot less intimidating and it can be the app to hold your hand until the time comes to move to a better social network.
This is just an option that I discovered yesterday but do you have any recommendations? Let me know!
As for Facebook: