Facebook’s Messenger platform, a dedicated chat interface for the web, is now live. Messages can still be sent via Facebook.com, however Messenger is targeted for those who want to exclusively chat on the platform without the clutter of the social content from the main site. This news was first reported by TheNextWeb yesterday, although the service seems to have gone live only today.
According to Facebook, the desktop messaging service is meant to be ‘complementary to the Messenger mobile app’. To use the platform, users can login using Facebook credentials at Messenger.com. On logging in the platform displays a window with all contacts on the left, on which users can click to start a chat. On the right, the platform displays information about the person a user is currently conversing with, along with an option to mute the conversation.
The service also pulls all of the user’s conversations from Facebook, so users can pick up conversations from where they had left off on Facebook. Additionally, the platform makes it easy to add other users into a conversation, make audio or video calls and add attachments to the conversation.
Interestingly, at the F8 last month, Facebook had announced it would let developers develop apps for its Messenger platform. As a start the company had launched around 40 new apps, including ones from Imgur, Talking Tom, Ditty, Effictigy, ESPN, GIFjam and Kanvas. While these features are live on the Messenger apps, they are not yet available on its desktop counterpart.
The web interface also offers users an option to turn on desktop notification. Messenger is currently available in English only, although Facebook mentions support for additional languages will follow. Note that Facebook had also unveiled a new commenting system that would sync conversations on its website, brand pages and third-party sites using embedded comments, at the F8. We wonder if Facebook will also integrate these embedded comments as a part of Messenger, as it will help users keep track of all their online (Facebook login using) conversations together.
– Other than messenger as a platform and real-time comment system, the company made some interesting announcements at the Facebook F8 last month. This included offering analytics for apps to all developers, LiveRail’s monetization platform, various platform improvements and IoT support for its development platform Parse.
– Facebook started allowing money transfers over its messenger app in the US last month. There was, however, no word on when it would be rolled out in India where Facebook will face a very tough regulatory environment with the Reserve Bank of India which insists on two-factor authentication. The platform also added another feature to help advertisers target audiences better around the same time.
– In March again, the platform was in talks with a dozen media organizations which include BuzzFeed, The New York Times and National Geographic to host content on the social network. Currently, links for news stories that are posted on users’ feeds need to be clicked, redirecting them to a separate page on a browser.
– Earlier this month, following a year of Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, the company began testing a new feature on its Android application and would incorporate a “send” button with the WhatsApp icon along with the status actions buttons (buttons which allow you to like, comment and share) which appear at the bottom of a post.