Facebook has launched a new messaging app for Android and iOS. The app, called Facebook Messenger, brings a SMS like messaging system that is based on Facebook's messaging system. The app is a result of Facebook's acquisition of Beluga - a start-up founded by three ex-Googlers.
The Facebook messenger forms a part of the vision that Zuckerberg outlined when he announced the Facebook Messages - to send the message using whatever channel is likely to get to you the fastest. If the receiver is logged in to Facebook, the message shows up in Facebook; if not it is sent as a SMS to the receiver's phone. As with all the messages sent through Facebook, messages sent through this app will still be available in the Facebook Messages conversation thread.
Unlike the Facebook app for Android, the Facebook Messenger is very polished. The Facebook app for Android never seem to work with chat and the push notification. In Facebook Messenger through, it works quite well. It also supports group messaging and also allows you to add your location in the messages. Photos can also be included in the messages.
Users of Google+, will no doubt compare the Facebook Messenger to Huddle. However, for now, Facebook Messenger is a better product than Huddle simply because Huddle requires the others to have the app installed on their phones.
Here are some screen shots of the app:
Facebook Messenger is available for both Android and iOS. The download links are given below:
The app is not yet available in all countries. (It is not available in India yet.) After you install the app, you are also required to add your phone number. Phone numbers from countries in which the app is not yet released will not work.
Does this Facebook messaging deserve a dedicated app? In my opinion, no it does not. What Facebook Messenger does is nothing that cannot be integrated into the Facebook app.