Aug 09 AT 2:56 PM Anthony Domanico 50 Comments

Facebook launches Facebook Messenger to simplify mobile messaging

Facebook Messenger

Facebook has just announced the release of Facebook Messenger, a new application for Android devices that aims to simplify and quicken the exchange of messages between you and Facebook friends or individuals in your phone’s contact list.

Facebook Messenger is essentially an alternative SMS application that attempts to differentiate itself by adding integration with the largest social network on the planet. If you happen to be messaging a Facebook friend, all your interactions with that person on Facebook such as texts, chats, email and messages will be featured in the conversation history. Moreover, when you send messages to your Facebook friends, it will both send a notification and text message to the other user to ensure they receive the message as quickly as possible.

Top features include:

  • 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

Facebook is highlighting how easily their new application allows you to send group messages, a feature that has been available in Android’s stock messaging since I’ve been using Android at least–probably dating back to the G1. One cool addition to the group messaging functionality is the ability to share your location with the group, so it’s easier to track everyone down. It’s especially helpful when having group events.

All in all, it’s hard for me to see the real differentiating factor here. Unless I’m missing something, most (if not all) these features can be achieved with a combination of the Facebook for Android application (which already notifies you when you have a new incoming message), and the stock messaging application.

But I’m certainly no expert when it comes to Facebook, so I turn to you, the reader.  Are you planning to install the Facebook Messaging application when it launches later today? Either as a replacement for or supplement to the stock messaging application? Are you happy to stick to Facebook for Android and the stock messaging app for all your SMS needs? Or have you given up on Facebook altogether and migrated to Google+?  Sound off in the comments below.

Regardless of how you feel about this new application, I’m sure many of you will head over to the market and check it out. We’ll update this post once we notice it’s gone live, which should be a bit later on today.

UPDATE: The app is now live on the Market. You can go ahead and download it right here. Marques Brownlee of Droiddog also uploaded a hands-on video.


Facebook_messenger07 Facebook_messenger06 Facebook_messenger05 Facebook_messenger04 Facebook_messenger03 Facebook_messenger02 Facebook_messenger01 Facebook_messenger Facebook Messenger

Source: Facebook Blog

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • SparkyXI

    Skeptical, but I’ll bite.

    Didn’t Microsoft release “Messenger” a few years back? :D

  • Vazguard

    I wonder if this is coming out the Beluga team FB acquired earlier this year.

    • Anthony Domanico

      All signs point to Beluga. The app actually looks a lot like Beluga, even.

      We’ll see once it comes out. ha

      • Vazguard

        Yeah it does. I used to use Beluga a good amount but when Google+’s Huddle came out, well, you know.

        One thing it has over Huddle is the inclusion of photo and location sharing. But if every other group messaging service has it, I hope we’ll see it included in the future.

    • Alberto Vildosola

      The app’s package name on the Market is Orca. Take that as you will.

    • SparkyXI

      Kanged! :D


    Took them long enough..

  • Taylor Wimberly

    Some users on our Facebook page said this was live now. Has anyone downloaded it from the Market yet?

    • BiGMERF

      I cant find it……

    • SparkyXI

      I have – Interesting indeed. It’s like an ultra-updated version of the really crappy FB chat that’s in the full FB app.

      • Derek

        That’s kind of how I felt too.

    • californiakidd1

      I opened the regular Facebook app and the first thing that popped up was the option to download it.

    • ddp

      WACK! There’s no chat option, it’s just the inbox. No thank you.

      • scmn

        chat and the messaging inbox is slowly merged isnt it?

  • Daniel Milner
  • Batfan

    Ah . . . get it?



    • Vazguard

      Saw that too haha. Sly developers.

    • tenkely

      Yep, cute.

  • Robot Human

    I can’t even try Google+ BC it’s still closed. I have a N1 and it seems like for my phone to work properly, I need to kill apps every wake just to see my gallery or so my messaging works fine so I’m skeptical about FB Messenger. Maybe when I finally win one of those G2x phones lol.

  • tenkely

    Oh there you are Beluga…

  • jon

    I’d be tempted if they fixed chat on the site and mobile app first, and integrated chat with this new app. What I really want is to send them a message and it tries chat, then Skype/MSN, then texts if neither are available, with an option to just do all 3 to start with.

    • Derek R-C

      Exactly. Why couldn’t they just add this to the native facebook app?

  • Rosjer

    Retards….Not available in my country lol
    well well, not sure i would use it anyway after what i see those of you that have it say about it, not been using FB much at all lately after i joined G+ ;)

  • JLishere

    Here’s the problem, Facebook. Now, I have a Messenger icon sitting in my app drawer, as well as a FB icon. When I want to message someone, you confuse me. I can go to Messenger. Or I can still use the main app. But if I’m in Messenger, clicking on a friend’s name will open his profile in the main app – to get back into Messenger, I have to close FB and open Messenger again, or I can click on “Messages” from the menu… but you take me to the old interface. In short, Messenger could be a compelling service, but how they chose to implement it is counter-intuitive. I should not have to hesitate between 2 apps each and every time. Integrate instead!

  • Francis

    Seems to work on my Asus Transformer.

  • Amassingham

    Another annoying US Only app.
    Why? It honestly makes no sense.

  • http://seangoi Sean

    Does anyone have a link to the apk? Why on earth is this a US only download?!

    • Aaron

      I got it in canada… And we’re usually the last in line for stuff

  • KHiD1987

    The app is nice but I think Facebook For Android should be working on Their API so the nexusS4G contacts can synchronize.

  • Rahul

    It’s incompatible with my Nexus S. Why?

    • kobak

      +1 Anyone?

  • Rahul

    “This item cannot be installed in your device’s country.” I am in India.

  • luiek20

    Just seems like a waste of time and space due to that fact that this can all be done on the stock app. I guess Facebook is really feeling the heat from Google+ and its only in beta! Now I really want a G+ invite lol

  • Derek

    this should have been implemented in the regular facebook app. but so far it’s pretty cool. I wonder if its a massive battery hog like facebook chat is. Facebook chat in the android facebook app is terrible!

  • prem

    hi, i am looking for this app in market and it throws me an error that this is incompatible for my device. I am using Samsung Galaxy Mini with froyo on it. Is there any way to make it work on my phone ?? thanks in advance !! :)

  • PaulsenDrake

    I hope this works better than the Facebook application!

    • Thomas Hunsaker

      Glad they finally split this out, hopefully it keeps getting updated and stays relevant.

  • androidpinas

    Next one is for them to improve the current FB app..

  • Android

    Thanks for the information above. The article was good like this one . I really love to read and be updated to this new apps.

  • mahesh Sajjan’s

    hi friends

  • abhi duke

    facebook messanger is very important to every f b chaters

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  • Devendra Chaudhary

    Devendra Chaudhary

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    tuko inta’anan lagugu takan

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  • prandika