When Facebook first created its separate Messenger app people were confused but also annoyed: they didn't want to have to install and use a second app to access functionality that was previously available inside the main Facebook app.

But Facebook Messenger is a decent messaging app in its own right (see our best Messenger tips and tricks), and if you're not one of the millions of WhatsApp users it's very likely you're relying on Facebook Messenger instead.

That's great if you have a Facebook account, but what if you don't? The good news is you don't have to use Facebook in order to use Messenger.

How to use Messenger without Facebook

Download the free Facebook Messenger app from the App Store or Google Play store.

Set up Facebook Messenger

Click Create new account, then press Continue.

You'll need to click Allow on any permissions requests that pop up, such as allowing Messenger to make and manage phone calls.

Enter your phone number and click Next.

Create a password that contains at least six numbers, letters and punctuation marks and click Next.

Set up Messenger

Enter your name and press Next.

Click Create Account.

Now enter the code sent to your phone via SMS.

Also see: How to send a Facebook message without the Messenger app