For the large part of last week, mobile users who wanted to make use of Facebook’s built-in messaging platform were notified that you would no longer be able to send messages unless you install the official Messenger application.

This presented many with a bit of a conundrum – as part of the installation permissions the app wanted to have control over the camera, microphone and “directly make phonecalls.” This understandably freaked out a number of users, but Facebook has said the knee-jerk reaction has been overblown.

The social media is laying the blame at Google’s door, noting that Facebook has no control over the wording used for the permissions – which might make it sound more NSA than what it actually is.

Facebook Messenger

“Almost all apps need certain permissions to run on Android, and we use these permissions to run features in the app. Keep in mind that Android controls the way the permissions are named, and the way they’re named doesn’t necessarily reflect the way the Messenger app and other apps use them,” Facebook wrote in a Help post on the site.

The explain it a bit further, the fact that it asks permission to “directly make phonecalls” is merely a permission so that you will be able to call numbers that are listed in chat messages. The same goes for the “take pictures” under the Camera section. If you would be to deny the app that specific permission, you will not be able to a take a picture through the app to send to a contact.

“This permission allows you to take photos and videos within the Messenger app to easily send to your friends and other contacts. (Record audio): This permission allows you to send voice messages, make free voice calls, and send videos within Messenger,” Facebook explains.

With news of hacks, cracks and spies surfacing almost daily, it’s understandable that some users might be a bit jumpy when something wants to “record audio”, but they don’t always have an ulterior motive.

If Facebook wanted to know something about you, they probably already do.

[Source – Facebook, Image – CC by 2.0/Kit]
Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.