back to article Facebook Messenger: All your numbers are belong to us

Facebook started 2016 with the bold claim that it intends to eradicate phone numbers and replace web browsing, but the Social Network has a mountain to climb before Facebook Messenger becomes the centre of our online world. That’s the stated intention of the Zuckerberg empire – to replace all our myriad internet communication …

  1. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Meh

    Errrrrrmmmmmm...

    ...no.

    1. Amorous Cowherder
      Pint

      Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

      Indeed, anyone with half a brain will take one look at the requirements of that nasty little app ( both on Android and iOS) and realise their life will no longer be their own after installing it! I use FB to keep in contact with family and fellow photographers but I'm damned if I'll ever install any of FB's nasty pieces of malware masquerading as mobile apps.

      1. Boothy

        Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

        Likewise, I use FB in a limited way.

        I decided some time back to not use the apps, asking for far too many permissions, and a resource hog.

        My mobile access to FB now consists of a URL shortcut on one of the home screens.

        1. Tim 11

          Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

          Surely if there's any reluctance in user takeup, all they have to do is integrate messenger into the normal FB application (which in my experience can't be uninstalled on android), then users will have the simple option of either having messenger or not having a smartphone.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

            all they have to do is integrate messenger into the normal FB application (which in my experience can't be uninstalled on android

            I managed to uninstall it on mine.

            Let's face it, what good is the app without the account to go with it?

          2. IsJustabloke Silver badge
            Megaphone

            Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

            RE : (which in my experience can't be uninstalled on android)

            I disappeared it from my Z1 , there's no root access or anything like that involved, I used the cunningly named "Advanced Permission Manager" freely available from the App Store.

      2. John 62

        Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

        With Android 6 you can chop and change permissions granted, so the permissions issue is moot on that platform. The thing is, any messaging app needs most of the permissions: use the microphone, use the camera, access device storage, access the internet, etc.

      3. Daniel Voyce

        Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

        Just because an app requires a heap of permissions doesn't mean it is always using them, various ROMs have had privacy guard and the like installed as default for now and I have always had messenger locked down to "request" access to these things - it has never once asked for "microphone access" (or any other access) without me explicitly selecting that function (e.g. to send a voice message).

        1. Delbert

          Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

          If an App "requires" a heap of permissions then you can be assured that the developers road map includes using them sooner rather than later.

      4. Bob 18

        Re: Errrrrrmmmmmm...

        > anyone with half a brain will take one look at the requirements of that nasty

        > little app ( both on Android and iOS) and realise their life will no longer be

        > their own after installing it!

        I think you man to say that almost everyone will install it.

  2. fuzzie
    Holmes

    Whatsapp?

    How does that fit into Zuckerworld? I bet it's much more pervasive than facebook messenger.

    They've been very quiet about it, but I've noticed things like "You probably know X" stuff popping up in facebook that's unconnect to the facebook acquaintances. It appears they're definitely mining my whatsapp contact list (or more likely my phone's contact list since it grabs access to that).

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Whatsapp?

      I did wonder about that, as (so far) WhatsApp is advert-free and offered with a small fee. Last night it told me I would not have to pay this ever, so I did ponder on how the system will be paid for.

      WhatsApp seems a great system, but not in Facebook's hands I fear.

      1. g e

        Re: Whatsapp?

        Although it's already grabbed your contacts and silo'd them, presumably Marshmallow lets you bar it from your contacts in the future? Though given how whatsapp works that's likely less than useful :o/

        Will be good to bar FB app from contacts and location, though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Whatsapp?

          "Although it's already grabbed your contacts and silo'd them, presumably Marshmallow lets you bar it from your contacts in the future?"

          Only if you allow it to do so. Go into messenger, then options, then people and uncheck Sync Contacts. Job done.

          Also, I recommend the use of an app called "Dcentral1" which analyses the privacy risk of every app you have installed and rates them in a simple scale. FB messenger weighs in at a rating of 18; which is a low to moderate risk (depending on the weighting you give it). It is beaten squarely by Outlook, Snapchat, Lync and even Touchdown, all of which leak far more data than Messenger. The worst app for leaking data I have on my phone is Lync 2013, which scores 47.

          Feel free to downvote me for doing some research of my own, rather than relying on the received wisdom of crowds.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Whatsapp? ref. Dcentral1

            how did you verify the integrity of Dcentral1?

      2. e^iπ+1=0

        Re: Whatsapp?

        "Last night it told me I would not have to pay this ever, so I did ponder on how the system will be paid for."

        Yeah, whatsapp no longer incurs a fee. Maybe Facebook can monetise it in some other way. Or maybe they're just doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whatsapp?

      How does that fit into Zuckerworld? I bet it's much more pervasive than facebook messenger.

      That's why they own it too.

      What you're looking at is meta data gathering: who do you know. Under privacy laws, companies have to tell YOU when they grab YOUR data, but there is no requirement for them telling that they are grabbing your friend's data, or that they have stolen your data via someone else.

      The BBC had a really good program about Gorden Welchman, the "rather dashing looking" (sic) Alan Turing contemporary who came up with the idea to use the to/from meta data of Enigma messages to discern German organisational structures. What you're looking at is simply a further evolved version of it. This is also why Facebook, LinkedIn and practically any other data collector are so hot on getting your mobile number for your "security" - that's not quite what they want it for. It's about roping you into network analysis (the human kind).

      It's getting all rather sneaky, murky and dirty, and the most depressing thing is that 99% of people don't have a clue what is happening (nor are they interested until such data gets into the wrong hands).

  3. Nigel Brown

    Not me Zuck.

    Don't have and wont have the mobile app - I use the mobile browser.

    Don't have, don't want, don't need and wont have the messenger app. Why do I need that when I have WhatsApp and old fashioned text messaging available? The world doesn't start and stop with Facebook.

    1. src

      Re: Not me Zuck.

      I am also one of the 800 million who downloaded Facebook Messenger. Since deleted it. And the Facebook and Twitter apps. They are simply not necessary. I can use the mobile websites using Firefox+Adblock.

    2. Packet

      Re: Not me Zuck.

      if you're using a mobile browser for facebook and ostensibly other things, i take it you are aware of the facebook cookies that will follow you all over the web as part of your regular browsing (unless you're only browsing anonymously / privately) and even then, there are session cookies to contend with....

  4. Fraggle850

    Oh, that's all good then

    When Go Zuck Yerself sucks the most popular bits of the interwebs into FB Messenger we'll all be on Free Basics and the Indian arguments will become null as the bits of Web that lie outside the walls of the garden slowly wither and die due to lack of visits.

    Yay! More proprietary control of the interwebs!

    And if it's not him then it will be someone else. If that someone is Microsoft expect:

    'The Web page you requested is not compatible with your version of Windows. Click here to install Windows 10'

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck No

    I will never ever sign up to Facebook.

    Take that Zuck.

  6. GregC

    Farcebook can Zuck off.

    Don't have an account any more, and never will again. Their constant attempts to become the de facto internet platform are extremely tiresome.

  7. Detective Emil
    Alert

    Facebook: Your plastic pal who's fun to be with

    The Fishbowl has already said it, so I don't have to.

  8. ratfox Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Skype??

    Is Skype really the top messaging app? I would have thought that WhatsApp was way in front…

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Skype??

      Skype does more than messaging - calling to/from abroad is usually cehap enough to make it useful even when the other side hasn't Skype. Probably people with more money are also willingly to buy Skype credit for those needs.

      If ever Microsoft stops messing up with Skype, it can easily surpass FB Messenger - although maybe it's time for interoperable messaging clients, a single proprietary platform is too restrictive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Skype??

        I wouldn't use Skype messenger, it's intercepted and has been for years...

  9. Frank Bitterlich
    Big Brother

    "We can help you interact with businesses or services..."

    Thank you for that kind offer, Mr. Zuckerberg, but I'm all grown up now and have a fully functional web browser, so I don't need your "help" with that.

    But I suspect that the trend of companies and organizations thinking that having a Facebook page is more important than a real website will only get worse.

    When I repeatedly state that I do not and will not ever have a Facebook account, some people still look at me like some kind of idiot who lives in the past. Good luck, mankind, with that level of ignorance.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      But, but, but - how will you "reach out" for people?!?

      I will boycott them, just like I have been boycotting MySpace, and look at them now.

      Also, I think you are, ala, correct re organisations neglecting their homepages over ther pages on Le livre des visages. I am almost annoyed already.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        >I will boycott them, just like I have been boycotting MySpace, and look at them now.

        @allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        So you're the person responsible for the collapse of Friends Reunited! :)

      3. Fred Dibnah

        Le livre des visages

        Une haut-vote pour vous!

        Have une bonne evening.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But, but, but - how will you "reach out" for people?!?

        The more I hear that awful phrase, the more I want to throttle those who use it.

        1. dewi

          But, but, but - how will you "reach out" for people?!?

          The more I hear that awful phrase, the more I want to throttle those who use it.

          But surely you'd have to "reach out" to do that?

          1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

            Reach around is worse.

            Yes I have heard someone say that.

  10. jzl

    Standards

    We need an interoperable instant messaging standard and we need it fast. Otherwise, this may come to pass and the world will rely on Facebook for communication.

    I'm not talking IRC. Something which can stand against Messenger or WhatsApp in functionality and ease of use. SMTP for messaging, if you like.

    1. Paul Shirley

      Re: Standards

      So time to get behind extending XMPP?

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Standards

      > Something which can stand against Messenger or WhatsApp in functionality and ease of use. SMTP for messaging, if you like.

      I don't know too much about it, but RCS - Rich Communication Services - might be a candidate. It's been in development for years by the GSMA, but nobody uses it. Google have recently bought into it, since they are competing with Facebook and Apple's iMessage.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Communication_Services

      http://9to5google.com/2015/09/30/google-commits-to-rcs-the-sms-successor-and-acquires-jibe-to-prove-it/

      https://bloggeek.me/android-rcs/

    3. MrTuK

      Re: Standards

      Not sure that would happen, unless they were forced to allow it.

      Also I don't like the idea, I prefer to separate my skype contacts from my email and my FB contacts.

      Also I wont install FB onto my Smartphone although its on my wifi tablet but no contacts are on that !

      I use Skype on my Laptop as well as FB, but only use webmail so they dont have access to my contacts.

      Also, personally don't like the way sites try to get you to log in via FB etc

  11. Novex

    No thanks. I don't like the idea of all my communications being spied on by anyone, least of all Facebook. By keeping things separated, no one entity has it all.

  12. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Boffin

    Never forget

    The insightful and accurate comments on the machinations of Facebook posted here are lost in the vast sea of ignorance in the wider world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Never forget

      I'm a picky internet Whale, and the "..insightful and accurate comments on the machinations of Facebook (and other WannaBeEvilDoers posted here are like my crill in the vast sea of ignorance in the wider world.."

      FTFY :)

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Never forget

        krill

        FTFTFY

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Just say no ...

    I don't have a Facebook account, and there is nothing that Facebook do or say could ever persuade me to get an account.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Agreed

      Actually, every single thing The Zuck does or says is always one more good reason to stay the hell away from that thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just say no ...

      What's "Facebook"...?

  14. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Facepalm

    When is a phone not a phone...

    The infographic made me laugh - since when has a phone been more about productivity than communication? Surely the whole point of a phone - the reason the damn thing was invented - was to facilitate communication???

    /headdesk

    Oh, and Facebook can go shove it. No apps on my phones and FB Purity on the laptop.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: When is a phone not a phone...

      >- since when has a phone been more about productivity than communication?

      It's just by historical contingency that we now call our pocket computers 'phones'. In an slightly different alternate reality they might have been called 'connected PDAs' or somesuch. Even before smartphones and 'feature-phones', people would use commonly use their phone as alarm clocks, calculators and torches.

      You'll note also that we tend to drop the 'tele' from 'telephone' (dumb phone, smart phone, mobile phone, cell phone etc), so a mere MP3 player could correctly be called a 'phone', since there is no 'tele' (at a distance) involved. Heck, some people just call them 'mobiles'.

      If I browse TheRegister or retreive my email on my 'phone', then the 'tele' part is present, but not the 'phone' (sound or voice).

      (Icon: Not a grammer Nazi, but an armchair etymologist)

      1. x 7 Silver badge

        Re: When is a phone not a phone...

        "armchair etymologist"

        so you like sticking pins in insects?

        1. User McUser
          Holmes

          Re: When is a phone not a phone...

          so you like sticking pins in insects?

          That's entomology, not etymology.

          If you had studied the history of how words change over time, you wouldn't have made that mistake.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: When is a phone not a phone...

          so you like sticking pins in insects?

          No, he only researches the origin of the word "armchair" :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: When is a phone not a phone...

        > Not a grammer Nazi,

        I believe you. :-)

  15. Lysenko Silver badge

    Bill Ray

    What do you thing you're playing at posting a decent editorial article?

    You (briefly) plugged the consultancy you work for. So briefly I almost missed it. This is completely unacceptable behavior. Not only did you fail to mention DevOps and Storage, you included useful facts and reasoned analysis!! This sort of thing undermines the hard won contempt the profession works so hard to maintain.

    I repeat: who are you and what have you done with the buzzword spouting PowerPoint ninja who was supposed to write this?

  16. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    “Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations

    F**k right off right there.

    I loath the idea of government agencies doing this.

    The notion I should allow it for a for-profit American corporation (money making and government access through THE PATRIOT Act) makes me want to vomit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations

      The notion I should allow it for a for-profit American corporation (money making and government access through THE PATRIOT Act) makes me want to vomit.

      I'd replace "should" with "have" because it's been happening for *quite* some time, and to a depth that suggests these private companies must employ former or even active intelligence staff to develop what they do. The benefit of outsourcing this is plausible deniability for the Government involved.

  17. x 7 Silver badge

    I never knew Farcebook had a messaging app.

    Now I do know, I won't be using it

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zuck

    Fuck

    Off

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were all doomed anyway.

    If x number of friends have your number and connect to y app then your contact list can and will be guessed without your permission.

    I say y app because it is of benefit for all the companies slurping data to do data swaps depending on the datasets. Contacts I would assume would be a beneficial swap to isolate friends of users not using y app.

    Even though Facebook is an abomination of slurping shite but at least they don't really hide the fact.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite. I need to work on it a bit more, but I have an idea to reasonably screw over that data collection. I'll see if I find time to talk with El Reg about publishing it later this year - the more people participate the more it will make a complete mess of the assembled data haystack.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

    .. if people have to give up their email address.

    Kindly stop from adding to the myth of free that so many companies like FB use to con people out of their personal data.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

      Did it not occur to you to lie? I fed it "user@example.com" and it happily spit out the PDF at me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

        Did it not occur to you to lie? I fed it "user@example.com" and it happily spit out the PDF at me.

        Then why collect it in the first place?

      2. Graham Cobb

        Re: Dear Bill, that report is NOT free..

        No thanks. Why should I lie? I just choose not to do business with people under terms that are not acceptable to me. When possible I tell them that that is why I am not doing business with them.

        We should all do more of that: lying about date of birth, email address, phone number, etc just makes it appear that collecting such data is acceptable.

  21. DougS Silver badge

    Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

    We already have text messages, email and - if you must - Twitter, which each fit different roles in terms of immediacy, audience, message size, and link/attachment flexibility.

    What does Facebook Messenger bring to the table? Nothing. The only reason it is installed on so many lower end phones is because SMS isn't always free. If Android had included a built in SMS replacement ala iMessage, Facebook Messenger would have never reached the install base it currently has in those low end phones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

      a) Security (ability to use deniable, authenticated, end-to-end encryption with forward secrecy)

      b) Presence (knowing if your interlocutor is online / available)

      c) Immediacy (messages have very short delays, if both parties online)

      d) Availability (internet connectivity being easier to come by and more reliable than phone service, esp. in developing countries and remote areas--got that t-shirt)

      e) Cost (usually much cheaper than texting, esp. for international exchanges)

      There are certainly other reasons to add to the list.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

        Facebook? Secure?? They data mine those messages, I hope you don't send anything you don't want them to know and sell on to random third parties to potentially haunt you in "sponsored content" down the road.

        iMessage actually fits the bill for your list better than Facebook Messenger, until you get to cost. Still don't understand why Google didn't provide a similar capability to Android. It is probably too late now, they're all used to using Messenger or Whatsapp...and that all that juicy data is being mined by not-Google.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

          > Facebook? Secure??

          The above refers to generic instant messaging, with special attention to the possibilities offered by XMPP and related technologies, not to one specific implementation which may or may not offer any of the aforementioned benefits.

          > They data mine those messages

          Keine Scheiße, Sherlock!

          > I hope you don't send anything you don't want them to know

          Not everyone has a Farcebook account.

      2. Tuomas Hosia

        Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

        "a) Security (ability to use deniable, authenticated, end-to-end encryption with forward secrecy)"

        And SMS doesn't provide all of those?

        Without everything going to a) free to sell by FB (read the EULA sometime, will you?) and b) to NSA, directly.

        No, there is absolutely _no_ security in anything related to Zuckenberg-mafia. None at all: Everything you do or send, is sold to anyone who bothers to ask and has money.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why would someone want to use a 'messenger app' at all?

          > And SMS doesn't provide all of those?

          No.

          > No, there is absolutely _no_ security in anything related to Zuckenberg-mafia.

          And where do you see any mention of Mr. Zuckerberg (or whatever his name is) or his company in the above. Someone asked whether there is any benefit to "a messenger app[lication]", not that messenger application.

  22. nilfs2
    Coat

    As usual

    A company trying to kidnap it's customers inside it's gated fortress, nothing new here.

    The browser is a universal client, you can access whatever content you want from whatever source as long as that source complies with the standards that everyone follows, but then, these arrogant companies like Facebook think that there shouldn't be a world outside it's gated walls, so they force everyone in, and people like good sheep they are just acknowledge to be socially accepted.

    It's already hard to do a research on the Internet without being forced to click on a Facebook link to find whatever you are looking for.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Intriguing...

    That thing about the Chinese doing e-commerce over IM.

    I am a big fan, and have been for years, of integrating XMPP into my services (in a completely unobtrusive way, of course), so that users can query and receive data and control things via their instant messaging clients, and interface which I find very simple and efficient.

    To give an example (fictitious, or at least not from one of my systems, but representative): you own an "intelligent" thermostat. You create an account for it on an XMPP server of your choice, add yourself to its contacts and vice-versa, and optionally set up OTR. You go on a trip and realise you forgot to turn down the heating, so you just text mythermostat@jabber.org "Turn down the heating please"¹ or "set mode=economy"². Maybe the thermostat will text you back telling you its batteries³ are running low, or that there seemed to be a power outage, or whatever. You get the idea.

    You see, you do not need a central server collecting all that user data (which is why Google et al. are so big on buying IoT start ups), you do not need proprietary, or even dedicated, software on the user's end.

    It can and it will be abused (Farcebook being a case in point), but the idea, implemented properly, is intriguing nonetheless.

    ¹ A good interface would allow something close to natural language.

    ² A good interface would allow clear and unambiguous instructions.

    ³ Pretend it has some.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Intriguing...

      You go on a trip and realise you forgot to turn down the heating, so you just text mythermostat@jabber.org "Turn down the heating please

      Or, perhaps, "Aah, hello Mrs. Next Door. Yes, we're having a lovely time. Would you mind popping into the house and just pushing the 'holiday' button on the thermostat please? Thanks".

      ;-)

      M.

      Yes, yes, I know that not everyone leaves a key with a neighbour or has a nearby friend or relative who pops in once or twice to move the post off the front door mat where anyone can see it and know you are away, but a lot of us do and it can be very useful to nurture such relationships as proved to some neighbours of ours once, when Mrs. Other Next Door went in to move the post only to find the boiler leaking all over the attic (stupid place for a boiler). Yes, there was a mess, but not nearly as much as there would have been had it been doing that for three more weeks.

  24. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Low end vs. High end phones..

    Looking objectively (if that's possible) there might be a method to this madness. Get the app on the low end phones and get people used to it. When they upgrade their phone, they'll want the apps they're familiar with. Obviously a long-term goal thing as opposed to a short-term profit. If that's the plan..? Or if junior is using low end phones or friends, then they will persuade the higher end phone users to get it.

    Personally, I don't touch text messages. my old Samsung cell only has a telephone style keyboard and no touchscreen. Texting is damn near impossible.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Low end vs. High end phones..

      my old Samsung cell only has a telephone style keyboard and no touchscreen. Texting is damn near impossible.

      My not-so-old smartphone only has a touchscreen and no keyboard. Texting is damn near impossible.

      M.

      (I could text "blind" on an old-style keyboard, but even staring at the screen and being careful with my fingers I end up deleting more than typing on a touchscreen, and don't get me started about trying to do that when it's raining!)

    2. no-one in particular

      Re: Low end vs. High end phones..

      > my old Samsung cell only has a telephone style keyboard and no touchscreen. Texting is damn near impossible.

      Ah, that explains why no-one ever texted until touchscreens came along.

  25. Jess

    They do not honour the privacy of PMs.

    Once I discovered this, I seriously locked down my Facebook use.

    I had a minor foot injury that a gym instructor suggested a possible diagnosis for.

    I mentioned the name once in a PM on facebook. From that point almost all my adverts on FB were for the condition.

    I removed all FB apps as a result. I removed FB from the noscript whitelist. I also installed the self destructing cookies addon.

    I now almost exclusively use mbasic.facebook.com (much nicer on a desktop than the regular site, to be honest)

    I no longer have in depth conversations using the chat facility (I generally used XMPP, but that seems to have packed up anyway)

  26. Oengus Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    You want WHAT?

    Am I the only person left in the word who doesn't have a farcebook account?

    Whenever I come across an App or website that wants me to "Log in using Facebook" (and doesn't give me an option to setup a site specific login) I immediately leave the site/uninstall the App.

    If I want to communicate with someone I have a phone so I can call or text them, a computer so I can send an e-mail, a postal service so I can send a letter using snail-mail or a car so I can go to see them.

    Why would I ever give over my life and private information to the likes of Facebook?

    Paris because the whole world seems to be becoming more empty headed and like the sterotypical blonde bimbo each day.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: You want WHAT?

      I guess there's at least two of us. The family would like me on it for keeping in touch. Sadly, for FB, I neither have, nor want, a phone which their registration system can't deal with.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: You want WHAT?

        I guess there's at least two of us

        Three.

    2. William Old

      Re: You want WHAT?

      > Am I the only person left in the word who doesn't have a farcebook account?

      No. I'm here. Laughing at those that do...

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: You want WHAT?

        y'know, I wasn't going to say anything, and I know this is an old thread that no-one will read again, but I can't leave it without saying "me, neither", because the way this is working out almost implies that anyone who hasn't replied does have an account and is just not owning up ;-)

        And then the school goes and says that they plan for all future school-home communication to be via Twitter.

        Nope, we don't do that either.

        M.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And just think, all the people you know who have signed up have donated your phone number which is undoubtedly sold to every telemarketer database in the entire world. Did you ever wonder why you get so many spam phone calls on your mobile? Thank your facebook friends.

  28. Jos V

    Nope

    Unless all my "friends" use the number 127.0.0.1, there's a pretty slim chance of me being part of it.

    Pretty sad that I know only one actual friend who, like me, is not on FB, though we talk frequently. Over a drink. You know, actually meeting each other (meeting does not involve sitting around a table and obsessively staring at your phone looking for the latest cat pictures).

    Whatsapp I have borked from my phone as well, twitter is a bit of a meh, Skype I keep a weary eye on, as I use it to make intl voice calls on, and BBM is my instant messenger app.

    I can only hope for humanity that the ad business completely collapses and takes facebook and it's ilk with it. Just maybe all their 2 billion products will start having a normal life around the dinner table.

    Had to say that. I'm not grumpy!

  29. pepetideo

    Microsoft with Skype will take the cake???

    That the the author on about Microsoft and Skype ? After I read that phrase I stopped reading the article all together. Skype is not even in the same competitive landscape. Besides being a rubbish application. Microsoft as usual bought the company for billions and absolutely had been sitting on their hand and have done very little to improve it.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    weel, I just got myself a new phone

    hence the message for Herr Zuckenberg:

    Dear Mark (or is it Frank?) I just got myself, a new phone! Yes!!!! No fingerprint, iris or stool sensor, but seems to work allright. Way over $200 (when it was new to some poor sucker), less than $50 to me now, so I guess I fall on both sides of the skype / messanger fence. Just need to root and re-stock it and I'm good to go. And yes, the message IS relevant to facebook, in one distinct way...

  31. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Headmaster

    so now the company is betting on messaging, and value-added messaging platforms.

    Value-addled, actually.

  32. Bruno de Florence
    Pirate

    Zuck Alors!!!

    Resistance is NOT futile. Zuk that, Zuck!!!

    In France, Facebook is known as "fesse de bouc". Google Translate will give you an accurate translation. :-)

  33. Crafty volt 7
    FAIL

    Facebook Messenger

    Possibly THE worst messenger app I ever tried to use, useless on android, iOS and Macbook.

    Z can want a lot of things, but that dream he ain't ever realizing....

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    M-Spy

    "Facebook M” starts listening in to all your conversations to suggest ways it can make your life more, as they say in such circles, “delightful.”"

    "Spying" is the term everybody else is using. Everything they collect is first sold and then given to NSA for better analysis. Or vice versa.

    NSA of course returns the analysis results if Zuckenberg-mafia haven't enough resources to do that by themselves. "Information exchange" benefits both and the user is the loser.

    One more reason to stay out from that Stasi-level nightmare.

  35. Andytug

    I gave up with the FB app when it suddenly started taking 200MB of cache and upwards....

    Think it was when the offline view came in, suddenly my phone ran out of internal storage all the time. As I have no intention of upgrading the (Android) phone I just deleted the app and now use FB through Chrome browser or Opera Mini, which give the same functionality as the desktop version including messages, so saving nearly 300MB of internal storage. Notifications still work, too.

  36. Coward Wilkinson
    Headmaster

    A Posthomerican writes

    "Facebook’s new Trojan Horse.

    That analogy isn’t perfect: the horse of Troy was disguised [...]"

    Er, the Trojan Horse was not disguised - it was a great big wooden horse. The analogy is correct, make 'em think it's a free gift and wreak havoc when it's been put in place. Check out the original business requirements from Odysseus, as captured by our old chum Quintus Smyrnaeus:

    http://omacl.org/Troy/book12.html

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Friends don't let friends do Facebook.

    http://tinyurl.com/jeg83qv

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