How to keep using Facebook Messenger after deleting your Facebook account

Thanks to its awful track record with user data, political ads and the role it played in the rise of fake news, there are consistent calls for people to delete their Facebook accounts. But the annoying thing about Facebook is that it does actually offer some useful features, not least Facebook Messenger. Fortunately, you don’t need to have an active Facebook account in order to use Messenger.

Unfortunately though, as of December 26 2019, you can no longer sign up for Messenger if you’ve never had a Facebook account. Previously, it was possible to sign up for Facebook Messenger using your phone number and nothing else.

In other words, you need to either have an active Facebook account or have had a Facebook account at some point in the past, in order to be able to use Messenger. Read on for all the details.

How to use Facebook Messenger if you’ve deleted your Facebook account

If you once had a Facebook account but have now either deactivated to deleted it, you can still use Messenger without having to resurrect your account.

If you currently have a Facebook account and you’ve been holding off deleting it for fear of losing access to Facebook Messenger, fear not! Go ahead and delete it.

Related: How to delete a Facebook account

To continue using Messenger, follow these steps:

  • Download the Facebook Messenger mobile app (iOS, Android).
  • Sign in to Messenger with the same login details you used for your Facebook account. For better or for worse, all of the people you were Facebook friends with when you deleted your account will be able to message you.
  • To add new contacts on Messenger, simply enter their phone numbers.

You can no longer sign up for Facebook Messenger with a phone number alone

As mentioned above, Facebook used to allow you to sign up for Messenger with your number alone. This was the process:

  • Download the Facebook Messenger mobile app (iOS, Android)
  • In Messenger, select ‘Create New Account’, and tap ‘Continue’ when it asks for your phone number
  • Enter your phone number and create a password
  • You’ll have the option to sync your contacts so you can message anyone in your phone
  • To add new contacts on Messenger, enter their phone numbers

However, the social network removed that option on December 26, 2019.

“If you’re new to Messenger, you’ll notice that you need a Facebook account to chat with friends and close connections,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat.

“We found that the vast majority of people who use Messenger already log in through Facebook and we want to simplify the process. If you already use Messenger without a Facebook account, no need to do anything.”

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