There are two things we all (well, most of us) rely on to keep us connected with our friends, family, and loved ones throughout the day – our phones and Facebook. Statistics show that Facebook is still at the very top when it comes to traffic and user retention, and as for mobile phones, well, don’t even get me started.
When it comes down to getting a hold of someone, a simple text or Facebook message will usually do the trick. In fact, we’ve become so reliant on these means of communication that most of us don’t even remember telephone numbers anymore. We still won’t need to, because Facebook just released Messenger, a new mobile app that simplifies how messaging works.
What Is Messenger?
Remember Beluga? Beluga was/is a nifty group messaging application for iPhone and Android that I wrote a story on back in early March. It allowed you to quickly create groups to stay in touch with your friends. At the end of my article, I mentioned that I had just seen reports of Facebook acquiring Beluga, which was something we should all keep an eye on in the coming months.
Well, it looks like I was on the right side of history with this one, because the Facebook Messenger mobile app happens to be a combination of Beluga and Facebook Messages.
The end result is a standalone app that allows you to quickly message others.
What Does Facebook’s Messenger Bring to the Table?
Since Messenger is an extension of Facebook Messages, all of your conversations are in one place, including your texts, chats, emails and messages. Whether you’re on your phone or on the web, you can see the full history of all your messages.
You can use Messenger to reach all of your friends – whether they’re on Facebook or in your phone contacts – just by typing their name. As I said, it is a separate app, so it only takes one click to get to your messages or send a new one, and messages are delivered through notifications and texts.
Here are some of Messenger’s top features:
- Message friends, groups of friends, or anyone in your mobile contacts.
- Map your location, find your friends, and make plans on the go.
- Get mobile notifications so you never miss a message.
- Include photos so friends can see what you’re doing
Basically, now you can send Facebook messages directly to your friends on their mobile phones, as well as share your location (if you choose to!) and other things like photos, etc.
Where Can I Get Messenger For Mobile?
The easiest way to get Messenger is to head over to Facebook’s official page and click the Get the App button. A box will pop up allowing you to text the link to yourself. Or, if you have an iPhone or Android device, you can just go straight to their respective pages to download and install the application.
Once installed, you can begin sending messages to your Facebook friends. Those who don’t have the app yet will receive your message via text (This happened to me), and they will be able to respond just like they would for any other normal text message. They will also see a small link that, if visited, takes them to this simple message.
There has been speculation of video conferencing capabilities within Messenger as well (source), possibly for a future update to the app. It makes sense that Facebook would eventually build this into their messaging platform (Remember Skype?). I guess we’ll just have to keep an eye on it.
What do you think of this move by Facebook? Are you surprised that they went ahead and built a standalone app for messaging?