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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Facebook launches standalone Messenger for web browsers

There's now a web browser version of Facebook Messenger to go along with the standalone smartphone apps the company is making everyone use. No, Facebook the website isn't taking away your ability to chat with friends. After the controversy that surrounded divorcing the two central features on mobile, Facebook is adamant that Messenger isn't leaving Facebook.com anytime soon. Instead, Messenger for the web — which you'll find at Messenger.com starting today — focuses solely on simple conversations and leaves the other parts of Facebook that can be distracting to the primary site.
If you want News Feed updates, you'll need to head over to regular old Facebook. The same thing applies if you feel like combing through someone's profile. Facebook Messenger has just one purpose: messaging. The web interface is basically just a blown up version of what you'd find on mobile. You're able to send pictures, stickers, and the signature thumbs up / Like to your Facebook contacts, but there's not yet any way to record and send voice messages from desktop, which is something you can do on phones. A barebones settings menu lets you turn on or disable sound effects and desktop notifications, but if you need to block anyone or change privacy settings, Facebook will point you to the main website. It's not a proper desktop app, but if Facebook sometimes proves overwhelming and keeps you away from one-on-one chats, at least there's this.

Madhav Biju

Author & Editor

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