Facebook Messenger

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Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger logo.svg
Developer(s) Facebook
Initial release August 9, 2011; 4 years ago (2011-08-09)
Stable release (Android) (July 10, 2015; 6 months ago (2015-07-10)) [±][1]
50.0 (iOS) (November 30, 2015; 2 months ago (2015-11-30)) [±][2] (Windows Phone 8) (June 24, 2015; 7 months ago (2015-06-24)) [±][3]
1.1.294 (BlackBerry OS) (September 25, 2012; 3 years ago (2012-09-25)) [±]

Development status
  • Active (mobile & web client)[5]
  • Discontinued (desktop)[6]
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Instant messaging
License Freeware
Website www.messenger.com

Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software application which provides text and voice[7] communication. Integrated with Facebook's web-based Chat feature and built on the open MQTT protocol,[8] Messenger lets Facebook users chat with friends both on mobile and on the main website.

Facebook reported in March 2015 that Facebook Messenger has reached 600 million users.[9] David A. Marcus heads Facebook Messenger and had joined Facebook on invitation of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.[10]

Messenger for Mobile[edit]

Messenger for Mobile was released on August 9, 2011 for iOS and Android, with an October 11 update making the app available for BlackBerry OS.[11]

In December 2012, the Facebook Messenger app for Android in some regions (such as Australia, South Asia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela) added the ability to use Messenger without a Facebook account by simply using a name and phone number. These changes are intended to allow Facebook Messenger to compete against similar mobile messaging platforms such as WhatsApp as an alternative to text messaging.[12] Later updates added the ability to use Facebook Messenger as a replacement text messaging client on Android, and added "Chat Heads", an overlay chat system originating from Facebook Home.[13]

On March 5, 2014, Facebook Messenger app was released for Windows Phone 8. This app contains many features similar to iOS and Android app but lacking chat heads and voice messaging features.[14]

In April 2014, Facebook announced that the messaging feature will be removed from the main Facebook app and users will be forced to download Messenger.[15][16]

On July 3, 2014, a native Facebook Messenger app was released for iPad. It was specially designed for iPad rather than just running as an enlarged iPhone app. Messenger for iPad features a multi-window interface showing a list of threads and the current conversation at the same time.[17]

There is some controversy surrounding the permissions required to govern its functionality on Android. Some of the permissions include such things as being able to send SMS messages, which may cost money.[18]

On March 17, 2015, Facebook added a functionality in which you can send money to your friends. It is currently only available in United States.[19]

On April 27, 2015, Facebook introduced video calling in Facebook Messenger app. The functionality were first launched in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay.[20]

Messenger for Desktop[edit]

Messenger for Windows Desktop[edit]

Messenger for Windows Desktop was officially released on March 5, 2012 for Windows 7 users.[21] Testing on the software began among a limited beta tester group on November 21, 2011;[22] however, a leaked link to the beta-stage software was publicly revealed to tech bloggers by Israeli blog TechIT.[23] Facebook responded the same day by announcing the link's availability through its Help Center.[24]

Among its features is a "ticker" similar in function to the sidebar of friend activity seen by Facebook website users. At the time of release, "chatting with multiple friends, video calling, limiting chat availability and editing settings" were not available through the software. A Mac OS X version was mentioned by Facebook developers as forthcoming.[25]

Messenger for Firefox[edit]

Facebook also launched an add-on for Firefox, entitled Facebook Messenger for Firefox.[26]


On 26 February 2014, Facebook announced that they would be discontinuing Facebook Messenger for Windows and Firefox, and it would stop working on 3 March 2014.[6] However, third parties continue to offer desktop access to Facebook messages. For example, Messenger for Desktop[27] is available for multiple operating systems, including Windows and Linux. It is ad-free and does not require a browser. Users sign in using their existing Facebook account.

Messenger for web client[edit]

On April 8, 2015, Facebook officially launched messenger.com, which enables users to chat directly through the web browser, without needing to visit facebook.com.[5] Facebook stated that the messages feature in facebook.com will not be removed, unlike how Facebook has separated the feature in its mobile app.[28]

Businesses on Messenger[edit]

At the Facebook F8 conference on March 25, 2015, Facebook announced that the Messenger platform is taking first steps to bring businesses on Messenger with the goal of enhancing how people and businesses communicate.[29] Users will be able to sign up to connect with businesses in Messenger, receiving personalized updates. Businesses can use custom layouts designed for order confirmation, shipping updates and more.[30] The service is already available with selected US businesses.


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has listed Facebook Messenger (Facebook chat) on its Secure Messaging Scorecard. As of November 6, 2014, Facebook Messenger has a score of 2 out of 7 points on the scorecard. It has received points for having communications encrypted in transit and for having recently completed an independent security audit. It is missing points because the communications are not encrypted with keys the provider doesn't have access to, users can't verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen, the source code is not open to independent review, and the security design is not properly documented.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Facebook Inc. "Facebook Messenger". Google Play. Google. Retrieved January 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Facebook Inc. "Facebook Messenger". App Store. Apple Inc. Retrieved November 30, 2015. 
  3. ^ Facebook Inc. "Facebook Messenger". Windows Phone Store. Microsoft. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Blackberry World - Facebook Messenger". Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Facebook launches standalone Messenger for web browsers". The Verge. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Facebook Messenger on Windows and Firefox will be no more March 3". TechRadar. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  7. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (January 17, 2013). "Facebook Messenger app change allows free calls via WiFi". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Zhang, Lucy (August 12, 2011). "Building Facebook Messenger". Facebook Engineering. Facebook. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ Facebook new Messenger service reaches 500 million users
  10. ^ Why Facebook Has Entrusted Its Future to the CEO of PayPal
  11. ^ Zhang, Lucy (October 19, 2011). "A Faster Way to Message on Mobile". The Facebook Blog. Facebook. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ Geron, Tomio. "Facebook Messenger Takes On SMS, With No Account Needed". Forbes. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Chat Heads come to Facebook Messenger for Android". The Verge. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  14. ^ "Facebook Messenger arrives for Windows Phone sans voice features". Engadget. Retrieved 5 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Facebook Is Forcing All Users To Download Messenger By Ripping Chat Out Of Its Main Apps". TechCrunch. 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  16. ^ "No more in-app chat: Facebook moving messages to Messenger". techhive. 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  17. ^ "Facebook Messenger Finally Gets An iPad Version". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Insidiousness of Facebook Messenger's Android Mobile App Permissions (Updated)". Huffington Post. December 1, 2013. 
  19. ^ http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/03/send-money-to-friends-in-messenger
  20. ^ http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/04/introducing-video-calling-in-messenger
  21. ^ Constine, Josh (March 5, 2012). "Facebook Messenger For Windows Desktop Chat Client Launches After Leaking". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ Constine, Josh (November 21, 2012). "Facebook Testing Messenger for Windows Ticker+Chat Desktop Client". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  23. ^ אבי ,דוד (December 29, 2011). "בלעדי: Facebook Messenger עבור מערכת ההפעלה Windows להורדה". TechIT (in Hebrew). Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  24. ^ Warren, Tom (December 29, 2011). "Facebook Messenger for Windows download made official following leak". Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  25. ^ O'Connor, Jack (March 5, 2012). "Introducing Messenger for Windows". Facebook Newsroom. Facebook. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  26. ^ http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/02/27/facebook-gives-desktop-apps-facebook-messenger-firefox-will-also-shut-march-3/
  27. ^ http://messengerfordesktop.com/
  28. ^ "Facebook Launches Messenger for Web Browsers". RE/CODE. Retrieved 9 April 2015. 
  29. ^ "Introducing Messenger Platform and Businesses on Messenger - Facebook for Developers". Facebook Developers. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  30. ^ "Messenger - Business". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-01-17. 
  31. ^ "Secure Messaging Scorecard". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 6 November 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 

External links[edit]