Are you a die-hard Facebook chat user? If most of your friends use Facebook, using their chat service is a great way to keep in touch with them. There is now a standalone Facebook messenger out there. You do not need a browser open to use it.
I don’t use Facebook chat a lot from the social networking site. I tend to log in through 3rd party chat applications. I find it easier since I am already signed into them. However, the Facebook Messenger application has certain features that other IM applications do not offer.
Setting up Facebook Desktop Messenger
Right now there are not many exciting features in the messenger. However, it is what you need to get the information you need. I’ll explain in a bit. Here is the quick setup.
After you download the messenger, you will only need to log in to Facebook to make it work.
After you sign in on Facebook you will see a message telling you the messenger will be logged in until you logout of Facebook. You need to have the “keep me logged” box checked for the messenger to work after the browser is closed.
If you aren’t one to read messages on the screen, there is also a pop up from the notification bar.
What you get with Facebook Messenger
Ok, like I mentioned earlier, there are not a lot of features to the messenger yet. Currently, you can do these things:
- See your online friends – You can see anyone who is signed into Facebook chat and initiate or receive a chat invite from them.
- See your Ticker – Seeing recent posts from your feed saves you the time you would normally spend heading over to your Facebook Profile page. If you see something you want to respond to, you can click on the update and you will be taken to the comment page for that update.
- Notifications, messages and friend requests – You can quickly see when you have a Facebook Friend request, new Facebook private message or any other notification. Once again, if you click on the notification or message, you will be taken to your Page.
What you cannot do with Facebook Messenger, yet
Right now, there is no option to use video chat. This feature will likely be added later on but isn’t currently available in the stand-alone messenger. You cannot message groups either.
I think this is a good starting point for a stand-alone messenger. While it doesn’t offer as many features as Chat on the site, it gives you what you need to communicate in real-time with your friends. I will be interested to see what features will show up in the official release. But for now, you can have a minimal chat application to keep in touch with your friends.