The mobile app, which is now available in the Android Marketplace and iOS App Store, is the direct result of its March acquisition of group messaging app Beluga. Facebook Messenger is the first mobile application the company has developed and released outside of its official Facebook app.
“It’s a mobile app about real-time communication,” Beluga co-founder and Facebook engineer Ben Davenport told this. All messages are sent and received in real time — no refreshing required.
The app, much like Beluga, is simple and straightforward. Once users log into Messenger with their Facebook credentials, they’re taken to a screen with all of their recent Facebook chats and messages. Users can jump into any of their past conversations or create a new one. Messages can either be sent via Facebook Messenger or via SMS.
Users can also send photos to their friends with the app. It also lets you give message threads a name, for easier organization.
One of the key elements of Messenger is its alert system. Users can decide to obtain alerts for new messages, or they can turn them off. They can also delay alerts for an hour or until 8:00 a.m. the next day. The alert settings can be tailored for individual message threads or for all messages through Messenger.
Facebook admits its official mobile app will eventually have all of Messenger’s functionality, but the company believes that having an app dedicated to quick messaging on the Facebook platform is something that will benefit its millions of mobile users. And it could give other group messaging apps like GroupMe a run for their money.
Check out the screenshots of the iOS and Android apps below, and let us know what you think of Messenger.
Login Screen: iPhone
This is the Messenger login screen for the iPhone App.
Login Screen: Android
Finding Friends: iPhone
The Facebook Messenger app finds your friends as you type.
Finding Friends: Android
Sending a Message: iPhone
The interface is much like the texting interface on the iPhone.
Sending a Message: Android