Facebook’s chat and messaging system has come in for a lot of criticism recently as changes to the service left users frustrated about the way it looked and worked. The release of the standalone Facebook Messenger app, however, is likely to be received far more positively. The breakaway app does away with most of the components of the main Facebook app, concentrating instead on the business of messaging your contacts.
This is useful in a number of ways. If you are used to working with Facebook on more than one device – such as your iPhone and desktop computer – the move to the dedicated chat app makes the transition between platforms far smoother than if you were to rely on the messaging section of the Facebook app. Start chatting on your computer, and you can continue the conversation as you walk out of the door using your iPhone.
If you are using Facebook chat to arrange a meet up with friends, the group messaging facility will come in particularly handy. As you might expect, this makes it possible to send messages to several people at the same time and you also have the option of sending photos. Location sharing is also available to make it easy to meet up in unfamiliar surroundings.
Perhaps most importantly, you are not restricted to conversing with people in your Facebook friends list. Facebook Messenger can also be used to send text messages to any of the contacts that appear in your address book – assuming you are using the app on a phone. Regardless of whether messages are sent as SMSes or Facebook messages, they all appear in the same conversation view to make things easier to manage.
Facebook Messenger is available for Android and iOS devices – currently only in the US – and you can find out more by paying a visit to the Facebook Messenger review page.