Facebook thinks phone numbers will soon be obsolete

Facebook Messenger

Facebook believes that 2016 is the year that the use of phone numbers will begin to disappear, all thanks to Messenger.

The social media giant explains that "just like the flip phone is disappearing, old communication styles are disappearing too" - including the need for phone numbers.

In a post today talking about Facebook into 2016, the company says apps like Messenger are now capable of not only sending texts, but also to make both voice and video calls, send videos, photos, GIFs, and even to send business cards and money, and so communicating with a person no longer requires you to know a their number - all you need to do is to "friend" them.

However, ironically, to get Messenger without a Facebook account, you do need a phone number to register, but we imagine Facebook would just rather have you sign up for the social media account instead to use Messenger.

Death or an evolution?

Of course, though Facebook is attributing its Messenger app as one of the reasons for the disappearance of phone numbers, there are a myriad of other apps that allows for messaging, videos and voice calls, etc without really needing a phone number.

Still, it is a pretty wild claim for Facebook, as phone numbers are still used to authenticate and activate many of these apps, like Whatsapp, Viber, Skype and FaceTime, while other companies are using phone numbers for 2-step security.

So while Facebook says one of the trends for 2016 will be the disappearance of phone numbers - and they aren't necessarily being used for calls or sending messages as much any more - it's purpose has gone through an evolution and is still being used for other things, so they might hang around for a little longer yet.