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Facebook launches Messenger app for iPhone and Android

Facebook thinks it should be easier to communicate with your friends.

In an effort to simplify, consolidate and, ultimately, make it easier to get in touch with your Facebook contacts, they have released a mobile app for iOS and Android called Messenger. Simply put, it sends a message to whatever method your friend allows his or her Facebook friends to get in touch, whether by Chat, Email or SMS. This makes it much more likely the that message will find him or her quickly.

It also cuts down the clutter of sending multiple messages via disparate services. In a word, it’s a great idea.

The app was borne out of the ashes of Beluga, an app/company that was purchased by Facebook in March of this year. The global giant had already made it easier to communicate using its various mobile and desktop interfaces: instead of Messages being separate from Chats, they were merged into one. If neither was available, a communique would be sent an as email or text message, depending on what the user set in the preferences. Messenger is an extension of that functionality.

But the market is already pretty saturated with proprietary messengers: BlackBerry users have BBM; iOS users will be getting iMessage with iOS 5; Android users have been using Gtalk natively for years. Then there are the secondary apps such as Kik, WhatsApp and LiveProfile that attempt to bridge the gap between platforms. Facebook Messenger, though it is launching on iOS and Android, is fairly platform-agnostic. Since the idea is that the message will be delivered regardless of whether the recipient has a mobile device or not, it has the capacity to reach exponentially more users.

Messenger is available for iOS and Android (starting later today). The question is, will you be using it?

Source: Facebook

  • Nicholas

    I want to.. but not compatible with HTC Desire? WTF?! Apk anyone?

    • Shawn

      Works quiet well on my iPhone and I am sure every other iPhone out there :)

      lol sorry, I just had too.

  • JV

    probably.

  • Alex Perrier

    Google Talk is at least based on an open source standard, Jabber/XMPP, and certainly there are open source clients as alternatives.

    But the FB messenger is barely revolutionary at all. Google already saves all chat to a dedicated email by default. It’s really convenient for searching, and Yahoo! recently copied this feature.

    Monkey see, monkey do?

    • bob

      Yep. XMPP is the only acceptable solution out there.
      Proprietary protocols sucks (Facebook, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger). But there is even worse. There are proprietary protocols with unpublished APIs that works only on select platforms (BBM, WhatsApp, Kik, etc.).

      I wonder why people still use theses in 2011.

    • daguy

      Exactly, Google Talk is not proprietary and any platform can have a client. These platform locked solutions like BBM and iMessage are no good. and the proprietary cross-platform service aren’t much better. I want to be able to comunicate with everyone and not have to try and convince anyone to buy the same brand of smartphone as me.

      As for this facebook messenger, I have a feeling that even though it’s the only service that I already know ALL of my friends and family have an account for, it would probably be harder to convince them to use this than any other messenger.

    • bob

      Interesting, however how do I add my Facebook friends to my non-Facebook XMPP contact list? If I can’t than Facebook is not XMPP compilant.

    • Alex Perrier

      bob: Not sure. FB is already cryptic enough, and was even more so in the past. Custom URLs came in very late. And this whole IM thing? Is it simple like Yahoo! and Windows Live, or is it complicated?

  • Smitty

    CORRECTION: “…It also cuts down the clutter of sending multiple messages via disparate services. In a word, meh.”

  • KidCanada

    @Alex – no its just making the fb chat on smartphones a much easier experience that’s all. Who cares if they “coppied” other cleints.

  • Preacher

    am i the only one who sees this as facebook copying google+’s huddle? (which is a copy of 100 other things im sure)

  • Paul Q

    Why? Why do I want to use this when it really does is FB chat? I can already do that on any FB client.

  • jpbaril

    I have a question for all of you.

    I have an Android phone with data plan, but I don’t have any SMS plan (and I don’t want any).

    Is there a way that my friends still on “dumb” phones can send me SMS and have them sent to me by some application/service as emails or facebook notifications?

    In the opposite direction, it’s not a problem, because I know that if my friends have registered their phones and configured them properly in Facebook, I only have to send them a Facebook message and it will be delivered as SMS.

    I mean, could my friends send sms to me through Facebook with this new service ? I will then receive regular notification by Facebook app or email.

    I want to be sure I can live without SMS and still let me friends continue to use them as they want to contact me.

    Thanks

    • CCraz

      man just pay the $10 a month and get texting so your friends dont have to go through a bunch of unneeded extra work to tell you “meet me there at 6″

    • jpbaril

      Not only I won’t pay the 10$ for SMS, but I will try to drop Voice plan and talk only with VOIP service.
      But so far, I did not find a VOIP provider that pass SMS in/out.

    • Alex Perrier

      Check if receiving SMS on your Android is free for your plan.

  • Frank

    is it just me or it doesn’t tell you who’s online. Just gives you a list of old messages?? Useless for me this way but maybe i’m just messing that setting??

  • Sal

    So facebook came out with a dedicated email app huh? That’s all this is…

    All I want is to see who is “online” right now on facebook. This was I can chat with someone who is actually logged in. Not send an email to someone who might get back to me the next time they log into their fb account a week later…

  • Thai

    Installed and then uninstalled. I use Go SMS which integrates SMS, Facebook Chat as well as their Go Chat (free SMS) all into one.

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