Review: Facebook Messenger App for iOS and Android

Facebook Messenger is a messaging app for the popular social network, Facebook. It was developed by the same team who created one of my most used messaging apps, Beluga which I use quite frequently. If you have used Beluga before, Facebook Messenger will be quite familiar as they share quite a bit in common with each other. Facebook Messenger allows you to send and receive messages with your Facebook friends in real time, instantly whether it be with someone who is also using the app, or a friend who is using Messenger through the Facebook website. You can even chat with users via SMS if they have that option enabled.

The app allows you to message anyone you are friends with on Facebook. All you need to do is click on the new message button and type the name of the contact you want to write to. Messages can include simple text, photos, and even location information. You can even start a group message amongst your friends where anyone included in the group can answer back and and see what everyone else is writing. All messages are sent and received instantaneously and can be seen in the Facebook Messenger app or on the Facebook website via chat window.

What the app lacks is a buddy list that shows who is online at any given time. In fact, there isn’t a buddy list at all in the traditional sense. It is assumed that you know who your Facebook friends already are and if you already talk to someone regularly on Facebook, you should know their names well enough to just type them in.

This app has since replaced a few of my other messaging apps like LiveProfile and I’m slowly easing away from Beluga. The reason being that the Facebook Messenger app already includes all the people I am friends with. No need to add anyone who I would talk to on a regular basis which means no need hunting for email addresses or screen names of a specific person. All your contacts from Facebook are automatically added.

Facebook Messenger isn’t your average messaging app. In fact, those of you who are used to using apps like AIM, Yahoo, or any other IM app may find Facebook Messenger a bit jarring because of one simple thing, lack of a buddy list that shows who may be online. But, it is my opinion that Facebook intentionally made the app like that because they want you to assume that everyone is online. I mean if you are a heavy Facebook user, you should already know which friends are usually on all the time and which friends have also downloaded the Facebook Messenger app. Even if they don’t have the app, most people have the regular Facebook app installed and since Facebook Messenger is also intertwined with messages on the site, the Facebook app will pop up a notification that you have a message waiting. Anyways, if they don’t answer back, it means they don’t want to message back or can’t. What’s the difference between that and someone not answering back your SMS? None. If you can look at Facebook Messenger in that regards and not as your run of the mill IM app, you’ll have a much better experience with the app.

Facebook Messenger is available now for both iOS and Android in the App Store and from the Android Market for free.

Description

Facebook Messenger is a faster way to send mobile messages to friends. With Messenger, you can send and receive messages with any of your friends or anyone in your mobile contacts list.

Messenger lets you:

• Send messages instantly to other friends who have Messenger
• Chat with friends who are on Facebook
• Get free push notifications for incoming messages
• Reach friends via text message if they don’t have Messenger yet
• Create group conversations for making plans on the go
• Add more friends to group conversations at any time
• Attach photos and location to messages
• Control alert settings for each conversation

Note: Sending to phone numbers is not available in all countries.