Facebook already has an iOS App called "Facebook". When I saw that they had come out with a separate Facebook Messenger app dedicated to sending messages to other Facebook users, I like many of you thought – why didn't they just build these new features into their existing App? That question remains unanswered, so let's take a look at the "new" Facebook Messenger App and what it does offer…
What's it for?
The Facebook Messenger App is designed to give Facebook users the ability to send messages to other Facebook users. Doesn't the Facebook App already do this? Yes, but the new Messenger App does a few things that the regular Facebook App doesn't. First of all and probably most important to me is that you can send pictures via this App to other Facebook users and they will see the photos whether they are using this App or simply logged into Facebook on their computers. Also with Messenger can not only send messages to other FB users, but any of your other contacts cell phones. This easily lets you skirt around any SMS limits you may have on your current cellphone plan. With messenger you can include your current location as well. This is especially helpful when trying to meet up with friends. Messenger does push notifications to let you know when you've received an incoming message.
While Messenger does what it does well, it has a couple of glaring omissions. The biggest one is that you can't see who is online right now and who isn't. The second one that I find really odd is that while the App does support landscape view, you can only compose new messages in portrait view. This will be a pain for two thumb messengers. Lastly and probably the most glaring omission is that like the existing Facebook App there is no native iPad version.
The Bottom Line
While I didn't really need a separate messaging App for Facebook, I will keep this one because it does things that the regular Facebook App doesn't do. I'm also fine with having a separate specialized App that's lean and fast, but i really don't see why these features couldn't have been added to the existing App and for God's sake please get the iPad versions out!