On Tuesday, Facebook introduced an app called the Facebook Messenger that enables iPhone and Android phone users to send instant messages to their friends and groups.
The Facebook Messenger is a separate app for iOS and Android devices that only takes a single click to get to the message inbox or send a new one. “Messages are delivered through notifications and texts, so your friends are more likely to get them right away,” wrote Facebook engineer Lucy Zhang, on the social networking site’s official blog.
She also said that the app can be used to reach your friends, whether they’re in you phone’s contacts or they’re on Facebook.
The Facebook Messenger app is free and is available for Android phones through the Android Market. It is also available for the iPhone via the App Store.
In order to design the application, Facebook acquired the development team behind a program called Beluga. The software, much like the new Facebook app, enables users to insert location coordinates and photos to each message and it can also be used to send text messages to other mobile phones.
The app will spell trouble on mobile carriers, who charge people a certain amount to send text messages. The Facebook Messenger app will only use a small amount of mobile data if it is used over 3G, but other than that, it is free and enables people to stay in touch.
It was also reported that the new app hides a video conferencing feature. How To Arena and 9 to 5 Mac spotted the functionality, which is still in its early stages, when it saw a video camera icon and references to video calls and missed calls.
Have you tried the new app yet, what do you think of it?