Facebook moves into instant mobile messaging

Facebook is moving into instant mobile messaging with the launch of a new smartphone app, which enables users to access its messaging service on the go.

Facebook: ventures into mobile messaging with Messenger app
Facebook: ventures into mobile messaging with Messenger app

The Messenger app, which launched in the US yesterday, allows users to access their Facebook account and message their friends in what Facebook claims is a "simpler and faster" way.

It integrates Facebook’s "social inbox" service Messages, which launched in the US in November last year and aggregates a user’s chat, email and texts into a single, continuous thread.

Users can send messages to friends or contacts in their phonebook in either a text or notification form. Photos and locations can also be added to messages.

It is available for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms, in contrast to the platform-specific BlackBerry Messenger and Apple iMessage. There are no indications when it will launch in the UK.

The new app also rivals Google's recently launched Google+ app, which has social chat features.

Lucy Zhang, Facebook engineer, said in a blog post yesterday: "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.

"We think messaging should be easier than that. You should be able to write a message, click 'Send' and know that you will reach the person right away."

Messenger does not enable video chat, which is a feature Facebook launched in partnership with Skype last month.

However, CNET reports that Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has said the two companies would immediately begin working on bringing the feature to the app.

This week, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Messenger service has been blamed for facilitating rioting in the UK, with the company offering to help the police with investigations.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

My Media Week: Clare Hill

My Media Week: Clare Hill

Clare Hill, managing director of the Content Marketing Association, prepares for the body's International Summit and awards, and has a pair of killer heels to break in.

Share
Which party will use outdoor effectively to lead the 2015 election agenda?

Which party will use outdoor effectively to lead the 2015 election agenda?

Will fear or cheer carry the most impact on voters and the wider media next year? asks Naren Patel, chief executive of Primesight.

Share
BBC plots £18m media consolidation

BBC plots £18m media consolidation

The BBC has expanded plans to review its £5 million media account to include the planning and buying business for BBC Orchestras, BBC Worldwide, World Service and Global News.

Share

Get news by email