August 9, 2011 3:35pm
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?