Facebook launches standalone web version of Messenger

9 Apr 2015

Social network Facebook has launched a web version of Messenger at the URL Messenger.com that provides a dedicated desktop experience for the 600m users of the platform worldwide.

Users of the popular app can already send messages via Facebook’s website, but the move signals Facebook’s belief in Messenger as a separate platform.

The web version of Messenger works simultaneously with Messenger on other devices and pages, including the main Facebook page and apps on iOS and Android, so users can continue conversations as they move between devices.

The news is not encouraging for mobile operators, which are seeing consumers use OTT messaging platforms from players like Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat and Viber as a replacement for SMS.

Facebook made downloading the Messenger app mandatory on mobile devices last year, separating Messenger from the main Facebook app.

The move portends the potential use of Messenger as a work tool, by giving users a bigger screen to manage a greater number of conversations at once.

Facebook has bigger plans for Messenger as a Platform

At the recent F8 conference Facebook opened the Messenger Platform to all developers and revealed it has already worked with 40 developers, including Action Movie FX, Imgur, Keek, GIF Keyboard, ESPN, GIF Jam, Imoji, Giphy and JibJab, to name a few.

At F8 Facebook also revealed Businesses on Messenger, which allows consumers to talk with a brand as soon as they’ve acquired something, be it clothes or technology. They can see a map in their Messenger thread to show where the order is, they can change their order just by saying so in a thread and learn more from business reps about the product or service.

“I don’t know anyone who likes calling businesses,” Zuckerberg said. “But how useful would it be if you could just message a business and instantly get information.

“The key is starting these conversations and the right time,” Zuckerberg said, introducing the new Businesses on Messenger service. “If you need to change your order, receive a receipt, track your package – helping people to communicate more naturally with businesses is going to improve everyone’s life.”

Social media user image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years