When it comes to its Messenger app and the continued backlash, Facebook really wants to set the record straight.
The Next Web spotted a big, unavoidable alert inside Facebook for iOS which directs users to a page called Messenger: Myths vs. Facts. There, Peter Martinazzi of the Messenger Team attempts to clear up one of the main issues that has been concerning users.
“Some have claimed that the app is always using your phone’s camera and microphone to see and hear what you’re doing. These reports aren’t true, and many have been corrected. Still, we want to address some concerns you might have,” he says.
“Like most other apps, we request permission to run certain features, such as making calls and sending photos, videos or voice messages. If you want to send a selfie to a friend, the app needs permission to turn on your phone’s camera and capture that photo. We don’t turn on your camera or microphone when you aren’t using the app.”
Shortly after Facebook made the big unbundling move and moved all messages to the standalone Facebook Messenger app, articles began popping up about all of the permissions the app requests – supposedly a concerning amount. One of the main gripes people had was that apparently, Facebook is accessing your phone’s camera and microphone at all times. That’s some scary ass stuff for sure.
The article that started the whole thing has since been updated – but the concerns persist. So much so, that Facebook apparently felt compelled to debunk some myths and advertise said debunking in its main app.
You may recall that Facebook has had to battle accusations that it’s “always listening” before – last time when the company unveiled a passive listening feature that analyzes users’ background activity in order to easily identify songs, TV shows, and movies for status-sharing purposes.
Martinazzi also tries to explain why they unbundled a perfectly functional app by saying that Facebook is “committed to providing a fast, reliable and fun messaging app that anyone in the world can use” and “people usually respond about 20% faster when they have Messenger, and we think they’ll find both apps useful in different ways.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t do a lot to explain things. To many users, Facebook fixed what wasn’t broke. Facebook Messenger currently sports a one-star rating in the App Store.
Image via iTunes