Facebook launches a new messenger app for the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. The new stand alone messaging service is called “Messenger” and available on the Web. The development of the app has been headed up by the founding team of Beluga, a group text messaging service acquired by Facebook in March.
Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook product director, discussed the potential need for a dedicated client in an March interview, days after the Beluga engineers started at the Palo Alto, California, company.
“One click from the home screen is a valuable trait,” he said, contrasted with the need to open the full Facebook app in order seek new messages. “They’ve built specifically for mobile-to-mobile. Our messages stuff was built for a convergence between mobile and Web and e-mail and a bunch of other things.”
Tap on Messenger and you’ll immediately see your list of recent conversations being held on Facebook. The basic messaging features work as you’d expect: tap on one of your existing conversations and you’ll be able to shoot off a quick message. And if one of your friends (or friends-of-friends) shoots you a message when the app isn’t open, you’ll immediately get a push notification.
Facebook has already cut into standard email providers as a dominant way that people communicate online. Now with the new App they hope to step into the world of mobility and texting. Facebook currently has 750 million users worldwide.