Facebook Launches Messenger for Web Browsers
Facebook is bringing Messenger, its standalone messaging tool, to the Web.
The social network unveiled a Web version of Messenger on Wednesday, a way to chat from a browser tab on a desktop computer as you would using the Messenger app. The product is accessible at Messenger.com and resides outside of Facebook, where users can already chat with their Facebook friends from a Web browser. (It still requires a Facebook account, of course.)
Why, then, is Facebook rolling out a standalone Web page for messaging when you can already use Facebook to do the same?
Messenger.com is for users who want to message without the other distractions that Facebook can provide. If you’re messaging through Facebook, that means News Feed and your friends’ user profiles are nearby. Messenger.com is a way to keep messaging as the focus.
Facebook has no plans to remove messaging from its core Web service, a spokesperson confirmed. The company already did this on mobile, requiring users to download the separate Messenger app in order to send and receive messages from their phone. On the Web, you’ll still be able to use Facebook or Messenger.com — at least for now.
One of the reasons Facebook made this change on mobile was that it wanted to more easily build features into the messaging app. It has since done that, adding a peer-to-peer payments feature and a new developer platform that lets outside parties build features for Messenger.
Messenger.com will support a lot of these features as well, including payments (if you have it on mobile, which few people do so far). You also don’t need the Messenger mobile app to use Messenger.com.
Messenger will be available to English-speaking users worldwide beginning Wednesday, and will launch with other languages in the coming weeks.
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