One of the biggest gripes Facebook users have had about the mobile application for the social networking site is that it lacks chat functionality. For months now, Facebook has promised its users a way to chat on the go without having to login to the site on a computer to make it happen. Facebook finally heard he users feedback.
Facebook has released its much anticipated Facebook chat application. It is called the Facebook Messenger, and it is available for the iPhone and Android. A version for Blackberries along with other mobile operating systems are in the works but not word on when they will be released.
How to get Facebook Messenger on your device
We’ll be looking at he Facebook Messenger on an iPod Touch. The same steps would work on the iPhone. For Android users, you simply want to search for the Facebook Messenger on the Android Marketplace. Follow the steps to download the app to your phone.
The first step for an iPhone or iTouch users it to open up the “App Store.” From here, search for “Facebook Messenger.” It should be the first result that comes up. Now, click on it. Once you are on its app page, simply click “Free.” Then, click “Install.” Your iPhone or iTouch will begin downloading and installing Facebook Messenger for you. Once it is finished installing, you can click on its icon to start chatting.
How to use Facebook Messenger
You when you open Facebook Messenger for the first time, you want to enter your Facebook e-mail and password to login. This will not work if you simply enter in your Facebook username. It must be the e-mail address associated with your account. When you have entered your details, click “Log In to Facebook.”
The first time you login, you will be prompted to turn Push Notifications on. Push Notifications allow Facebook Messenger to alert you when someone sends you a message. You can click “Settings” to configure them for this application or click “Cancel” to configure it later or leave them off.
Now, you will be directed to your “Messages” window. This is where all your conversations with be waiting for you or available for you to go through. If it is your first time logging in, you will see the “Welcome to Messenger” message at the top pointing to the “Pencil and Paper” icon.
If you click that icon, it will let you create a new message and conversation with a Facebook friend. You want to type in your friend’s name in the “To:” box. Then, type your message in the box below that. You can attach a picture by clicking the “Camera” icon or you can click “Send” to send the message to a friend. If you are not online, it will send it to their inbox for them to see the next time they login to Facebook.
When you have a one-on-one conversation with a friend on Facebook, it will display like a series of text messages back and forth. You will see who sent the message, the message and the date of the message. If the message was sent today, you will see the time stamp next to it.
You can send a message from this screen by typing it into the chat box at the bottom of the window and then clicking “Send.” You can also attach a picture from this area by clicking the “Camera” icon on the left of the chat box.
Also on the “Messages” screen, you can check out the settings for Facebook Messenger. Click the “Gear” icon in the top left of the screen. Facebook Messenger does not have many settings but the two big ones are how you manage Alerts and Location Settings.
Alerts can only be configured in three ways for now. This goes hand-in-hand with whether or not you enable Push Notifications. If enabled, you can choose to always be alerted, turn alerts off for an hour at a time or turn alerts off until 8 AM the next morning.
If you click the “Location Services,” this will enable the service when using Facebook Messenger. This means that others can see your location just like you would when posting on Facebook with this same feature enabled. Since “checking in” has become all the rage in social networking, Facebook Messenger allows you to do this, too.
The Facebook Messenger app for the iPhone or Android platform is easy to use, quick to get started and will have you chatting in no time. While it may not have any new features to be used on a mobile phone, it is a way to stay in touch with your Facebook friends on the go. Something many Facebook users have been waiting for.
The pros of Facebook Messenger:
- Easy to install, use and chat.
- Simple layout makes chatting easy to read.
The cons of Facebook Messenger:
- No group chat feature like Google+’s Hangouts.
- No way to turn off alerts completely.
Is Facebook Messenger worth using on the go?
I personally do not use Facebook chat very often unless I want to speak to someone specifically. In most cases, I just text or instant message them another way. I was surprised by how easy the Facebook app was to use from the get go. There was no complicated start-up process, as soon as you were in you were ready to go and connect with Friends.
While Facebook Messenger does not offer a group chat feature like Google+ does, it is only a matter of time before Facebook comes up with something unique for those using the mobile version of Facebook chat on their phone. Facebook Messenger is a simple way to use Facebook Chat on the go if you use it to talk to friends, make plans or keep connected.
Visit Facebook’s page to get their mobile messenger app.