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Now you can sign up for Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account

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Starting today, you can sign up for Facebook Messenger even if you don't have an account with the social network. You don't even need an email address, in fact. Facebook only requires your first and last name, phone number, and a photo to get started. "With this update, more people can enjoy all the features that are available on Messenger — including photos, videos, group chats, voice and video calling, stickers and more," the company wrote in a blog post.

Messenger has 700 million monthly users, and this move could bring in new users who have shied away from the complete Facebook experience or abandoned it. But the company says there are still significant benefits to signing up for both. "People can easily message with their Facebook friends and contacts, access their Facebook messages, and take advantage of multi-device messaging across mobile devices, the web, and tablets." People with no Facebook account can opt to upload their phone contacts, which should make finding friends and family to chat with much easier. To start, Messenger sans Facebook is available in the US, Canada, Peru, and Venezuela.