Facebook offers messaging to broader set of users

This Oct. 11, 2010 file photo, shows the logo of the online network Facebook, recorded in Munich with a magnifying glass of a computer screen of a laptop. (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

December 4, 2012 12:55:49 PM PST
Menlo Park-based Facebook is offering a new product to consumers that has nothing to do with Facebook. The company is launching a messaging app for users of Android phones.

Anyone who chooses to sign up to the service using just their name and phone number can begin sending messages through the new app.

Facebook hopes to reach a larger audience -- people who aren't already logged onto its site. The new product is being rolled out in five countries worldwide, but isn't available in the U.S. yet.