A download link for the official Facebook Messenger application for Windows, which the social network has reportedly been testing since November, was leaked online yesterday. Facebook has responded today by making the “trial” application officially available for download, and updating its support pages to include new information on the software.
Facebook Messenger for Windows is a standalone chat application similar to that recently released for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS devices. It makes it easy to chat with your friends while you’re at your computer, without having to keep switching to the Facebook tab within your web browser. Unlike the mobile app, however, the Windows software also includes a news ticker:
“Messenger is a Windows is a new, trial application that lets you use Facebook without being on www.facebook.com.
“While you surf the web or use other applications on your computer, you can chat and message with your friends on Facebook, see the latest updates from your friends in ticker and get quick notifications about what’s going on.
“We’re testing out a first version of the app with a small group of people. During this trial period, we plan on rolling out changes to the app and expect outages and periods of instability as we make improvements.”
Although Facebook claims that it is testing the app “with a small group of people,” it doesn’t seem to be restricting access to the application. Users report that they can successfully download, install, and login to use the app without any problems.
For me, the Facebook chat experience within a web browser has always been a pretty painful one, with frequent crashes and many lost messages. Here’s to hoping that the dedicated application is much more stable, and a much more enjoyable experience. Unfortunately for us Mac users, however, we’ll have to wait until there’s a version for Mac OS X.
Have you used the Facebook Messenger app for Windows yet? What do you think of it?