A few people were asking me if I downloaded the new Facebook Messenger App (which they require now if you want to FB chat). I haven't yet, but after reading this, I feel a little better about it. When you download it, the app asks you for certain permissions. FYI: These are no different than the permissions you were asked about when you downloaded the Facebook App! Here's what they mean:
What it's asking for: Find accounts on the device and read your own contact card.
If you already have Facebook installed on your phone, the messenger app can grab the account information already on your device. It can also read the contact card you have created for yourself within Android.
In other words, it can let you sign in to Facebook Messenger with the Facebook account already on your phone.
What it's asking for: Read your contacts.
This will let you send a message to someone already in your address book. To do that, the app needs permission to access your contacts.
What it's asking for: Approximate location (network-based).
precise location (GPS and network-based)
Your phone can give your location in more than one way. One way is via GPS (which you may not always have turned on), and another gives approximate location based on your network. The app needs access to your location to let you send that location to others, or list it in posts.
What it's asking for: Edit your text messages (SMS or MMS), receive text messages (SMS or MMS), read your text messages (SMS or MMS) and send SMS messages.
If you add your phone number to your Messenger account, Facebook uses an SMS message to verify that it is you. You can also send SMS and MMS messages to people who aren't on Messenger via the Facebook Messenger app. But to do that, the app needs to be able to send and receive messages.
What it's asking for: Directly call phone numbers and read call log.
So you can call users directly from the app if you choose. It also means that if someone from Facebook Messenger calls you, you can know who is calling.
What it's asking for: Test access to protected storage and odify or delete the contents of your USB storage.
To help speed up the app and make things faster, the Facebook Messenger app can use part of the storage built into your phone to cache certain items and photos. That way, you don't have to download the same photos from your friends every single time.
What it's asking for: Take pictures and videos and record audio.
So you can send photos to users from within Facebook and record audio messages. Without the ability to record audio, your videos would be silent.
Wi-Fi connection information
What it's asking for: View Wi-Fi connections.
So that Facebook can connect to a network if you don't have cell service (or are on a tablet). You need to be able to be online to use Facebook Messenger. That's why it's asking for network permissions.
Device ID & call information
What it's asking for: Read phone status and identity.
So that it can help initiate outgoing voice calls.
(Thanks to Christina Warren @ Mashable)