Have you ever tried to put together a birthday dinner with your friends but then realized that you weren’t sure what was the best way to contact them? If so, Facebook feels your pain. Facebook announced a new mobile app yesterday called “Messenger“. It installs as a separate app on your mobile phone. The goal of the app is to provide a single source for all of your messaging needs.
If you follow this link, you will be taken to the page pictured below. You will notice a button on the left side of the page that reads “Get the App”.
If you click the “Get the App” button you will see the following screen. Just type in your mobile number and Facebook will text you a link to the appropriate place, either the Android market or the iPhone App Store.
Once you have installed the app to your mobile phone, it really is simple to use. The app automatically gathers information on both your Facebook contacts and your mobile phone contacts. “Messenger” makes it easy to send out a group message. Now, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re sending the message to the right place, because “Messenger” will send it both as a text and a Facebook notification.
You also have the ability to add location information into the message. In the picture above you will see a small blue arrow just to the left of the “Send” button. Clicking this arrow will allow you to insert location information into your message. In the image below, you can see how your location information can be integrated into Google Maps.
The “Messenger” app is currently available for both the Android and iPhone markets, however, it only appears to be rolled out in the U.S at this time.
There are, however, a few things I would like to point out from my personal experience using the app. One thing to note is that when you send a message to a mobile number it will blast a message to that person’s Facebook account, too. In my case, the person I sent a message to got it on their mobile, their Facebook mailbox, and an email notification in their Hotmail. Some people may not like getting blasted like that. Also, the mobile message appears from a strange number, so this may be a little confusing to the person receiving it. The person I sent the message to also was confused by a “mute” link in the text. So I believe there may be a few kinks left to work out.
Facebook seems to be committed to improving the mobile experience. They also rolled out a couple of other features yesterday. One was to allow social reporting on the mobile version of Facebook. The second allows users to change their password via their mobile. Some of the changes they are making are not going over very well, as usual (there is still a lot of frustration over the new Facebook chat format). All of this being said, I believe the “Messenger” app will be a pretty nice addition to the Facebook family of products.
What do you think? Is this an app that you think you’ll use? I would love to hear your feedback.