The new app, branded ‘Facebook Messenger’, is compatible both with iPhones and Android models, and is available as a complementary service to the site’s main Facebook app.
The new service is in fact a revamped version of a messaging app the company purchased in March – known back then as Beluga.
One of the attractive features of Facebook Messenger is that both incoming and outgoing messaging are communicated in real time, with no need for users to refresh the screen.
It is also relatively easy to use. All that is required to access Facebook Messenger are the subscriber’s normal Facebook log-in details.
Once in, the user is greeted by his or her latest messages and chat strings, any one of which can be easily and immediately accessed and reactivated. Alternatively, it is just as quick and straightforward to start a new message or to launch a fresh conversational thread.
Once a message has been constructed, the user can send it via Facebook Messenger or by SMS.
As an additional bonus, the new app also allows users to send each other photos.
With Facebook Messenger, the user can also opt to receive an alert whenever a new message is received. The technology behind the app even allows the user to delay receiving alerts by an hour or more, right up until eight o’clock the following morning.