Your "connected" world just got another lifeline. Yesterday, Facebook released their Facebook Messenger app for iOS and Android that was made to simplify instant messaging. The app is free and unlike the popular Facebook app (which already provides a chat feature), the Facebook Messenger app is dedicated to communication with your Facebook friends in real time through Facebook chat on your smartphone.

But why have two apps if the chat feature is already in the original Facebook app?

Facebook's reasoning behind why they put out a separate app is simple. It's faster. You can still use the main Facebook app to chat, but the new app boasts speed and also includes the option to send a text. I can see this becoming a VERY popular feature with this new messaging app. Here's why.

If you want to send a text message to a friend but don't have her phone number stored in your phone, you can quickly send her a Facebook message instead. And if she's added her phone number to Facebook and granted the appropriate permissions, the app will automatically pull up her number as an option, in case you would prefer to send her a text.


I found out about the Facebook Messenger app in the midst of my daily Facebook routine on my laptop when all of a sudden, a chat message popped up at the bottom of the screen, and my buddy told me that he was actually chatting with me real time from his phone. He also sent a pic from his phone, through the chat window on Facebook as well, which I thought was pretty neat.


Another cool feature includes the ability to turn on push notifications (so that your phone dings and wakes up the screen to alert you with an incoming message), and even more importantly, it gives you the option to turn them OFF for a select amount of time. This is perfect for the hours where your friends decide to tag you in 45 pictures at 3am on a Tuesday morning, from a bachelor/bachelorette party that happened over the weekend.

"More and more of us rely on our phones to send and receive messages. But it isn't always easy to know the best way to reach someone on their phone. Should you send an email or text? Which will they check first? Did they even get your last message?" Facebook said in a blog post. "We think messaging should be easier than that."

Some say we are "too connected" these days, but I say if it improves communication.. bring it on. This app is perfect for those who are "blocked" from Facebook in the workplace or always on the go. But on the negative side, you may eventually find it aggravating and quite redundant amongst all your apps You can get the Facebook Messenger app for free right now in the App Store on your iPhone/iPad or in the Android Market.

[via PC Mag]

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