The Facebook Messenger for Windows desktop client enables users to chat with their friends, receive notifications and stay in touch with the real-time features of the website on their computer. Facebook began testing the desktop chat client last month with few users, but a download link is now available to the public. The link can be found in Facebook Help Center.
The Facebook desktop chat client requires Windows 7 to function, and it provides access to 3 important features: Facebook Chat, Ticker Feed and Notifications. Moreover, it has been reported that the application will soon have more features like video calling, limited availability, chatting with multiple friends, editing settings, etc.
Also, the application uses the Windows 7 notification system to alert users, and it can snap to the side of the screen or float on the screen.
The application is like the standalone mobile Messenger apps for Facebook. Friends that you contact more often will automatically get added to the favorites section on top of your list of online friends. Impressively, the desktop client would require just one-time setup, and other updates will install automatically.
This development was necessitated when Facebook found out that their users would like to stay in touch with the real-time features of the website without having to keep the site open. That means users can leave the desktop chat client open for the entire day while they continue with other activities.
Obviously, the Messenger for Windows application would cut down the market share of popular desktop chat clients like AOL Instant Messenger and Windows Live Messenger; but it is a welcome development for Facebook’s “close to 1 billion users”. Importantly, the Facebook desktop chat client will boost users’ engagement on the site, and the notifications will likely take more people back to the website.
Even though the application runs on Windows 7 alone, it was developed by Facebook and does not denote a new partnership with Microsoft.
Presently, it is not certain whether Facebook will release the Mac or Linux compatible version, but this will likely come when the Windows 7 version becomes popular.
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