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Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software application which provides text and voice[1] communication. Integrated with Facebook's web-based Chat feature and built on the open MQTT protocol,[2] Messenger lets Facebook users chat with friends both on mobile and on the main website.

Facebook reported in January 2016 that Facebook Messenger has reached 800 million monthly active users.[3] David A. Marcus heads Facebook Messenger and had joined Facebook on invitation of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook.[4]

History

Facebook launched the iOS and Android versions of Facebook Messenger on August 9, 2011,[5] with an October 11 update making the app available for BlackBerry OS.

In April 2014, Facebook announced that the messaging feature will be removed from the main Facebook app and users will be forced to download Messenger.[6][7]

On March 17, 2015, Facebook added a functionality in which users can send money to their friends. It is currently only available in the United States.[8]

On April 27, 2015, Facebook introduced video calling in the Facebook Messenger app. The functionality was first launched in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay.[9]

At the Facebook F8 conference on March 25, 2015, Facebook announced that the Messenger platform is taking first steps to bring businesses on Messenger with the goal of enhancing how people and businesses communicate.[10] Users will be able to sign up to connect with businesses in Messenger, receiving personalized updates. Businesses can use custom layouts designed for order confirmation, shipping updates and more.[11] The service is already available with selected US businesses.

As part of this business feature, Facebook launched Transportation on Messenger in cooperation with Uber. As of January 2016, this service is still in testing and will be available to selected users in the locations where Uber operates in the United States.[12]

Platforms

Active

  • iOS:
    • iPhone and iPod Touch: Facebook launched the iOS version of Facebook Messenger on August 9, 2011.[5]
    • iPad: On July 3, 2014, a native Facebook Messenger app was released for iPad. It was specially designed for iPad rather than just running as an enlarged iPhone app. Messenger for iPad features a multi-window interface showing a list of threads and the current conversation at the same time.[13]
  • Android: Facebook launched the Android version of Facebook Messenger on August 9, 2011.[5]
In December 2012, the Facebook Messenger app for Android in some regions (such as Australia, South Asia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela) added the ability to use Messenger without a Facebook account by simply using a name and phone number. These changes are intended to allow Facebook Messenger to compete against similar mobile messaging platforms such as WhatsApp as an alternative to text messaging.[14] Later updates added the ability to use Facebook Messenger as a replacement text messaging client on Android, and added "Chat Heads", an overlay chat system originating from Facebook Home.[15]
  • BlackBerry OS: Facebook launched the BlackBerry OS version of Facebook Messenger on October 11, 2011.
  • Windows Phone 8: On March 5, 2014, Facebook Messenger app was released for Windows Phone 8. This app contains many features similar to iOS and Android apps but lacks chat heads and voice messaging features.[16]
  • Web: On April 8, 2015, Facebook officially launched messenger.com, which enables users to chat directly through a web browser, without needing to visit facebook.com.[17] Facebook stated that the messages feature in facebook.com will not be removed, unlike how Facebook has separated the feature in its mobile app.[18]

Discontinued

  • Microsoft Windows: Messenger for Windows Desktop was officially released on March 5, 2012 for Windows 7 users.[19] Testing on the software began among a limited beta tester group on November 21, 2011;[20] however, a leaked link to the beta-stage software was publicly revealed to tech bloggers by Israeli blog TechIT.[21] Facebook responded the same day by announcing the link's availability through its Help Center.[22]
Among its features was a "ticker" similar in function to the sidebar of friend activity seen by Facebook website users. At the time of release, "chatting with multiple friends, video calling, limiting chat availability and editing settings" were not available through the software. A Mac OS X version was mentioned by Facebook developers as forthcoming.[23] Messenger for Windows Desktop was discontinued on 3 March 2014.[24]
  • Firefox: Facebook also launched an add-on for Firefox, titled Facebook Messenger for Firefox.[25] Facebook Messenger for Firefox was discontinued on 3 March 2014.[24]

Reception

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has listed Facebook Messenger (Facebook chat) on its Secure Messaging Scorecard. As of November 6, 2014 (2014 -11-06), Facebook Messenger has a score of 2 out of 7 points on the scorecard. It has received points for having communications encrypted in transit and for having recently completed an independent security audit. It is missing points because the communications are not encrypted with keys the provider doesn't have access to, users can't verify contacts' identities, past messages are not secure if the encryption keys are stolen, the source code is not open to independent review, and the security design is not properly documented.[26]

See also

References

  1. Tsukayama, Hayley (January 17, 2013). "Facebook Messenger app change allows free calls via WiFi". The Washington Post. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-01-17/business/36383982_1_facebook-messenger-facebook-phone-facebook-users. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  2. Zhang, Lucy (August 12, 2011). Building Facebook Messenger. Facebook Engineering. Facebook. Retrieved on March 3, 2013.
  3. Here’s to 2016 with Messenger | Facebook Newsroom.
  4. Why Facebook Has Entrusted Its Future to the CEO of PayPal
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Zhang, Lucy (August 9, 2011). A Faster Way to Message on Mobile. The Facebook Blog. Facebook. Retrieved on February 15, 2016.
  6. Facebook Is Forcing All Users To Download Messenger By Ripping Chat Out Of Its Main Apps. TechCrunch (2014-04-09). Retrieved on 2014-05-29.
  7. No more in-app chat: Facebook moving messages to Messenger. techhive (2014-04-09). Retrieved on 2014-05-29.
  8. http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/03/send-money-to-friends-in-messenger
  9. http://newsroom.fb.com/news/2015/04/introducing-video-calling-in-messenger
  10. Introducing Messenger Platform and Businesses on Messenger - Facebook for Developers (en-US).
  11. Messenger - Business (en-US).
  12. Introducing Transportation on Messenger | Facebook Newsroom.
  13. Facebook Messenger Finally Gets An iPad Version. TechCrunch. Retrieved on 5 July 2014.
  14. Geron, Tomio. "Facebook Messenger Takes On SMS, With No Account Needed". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/12/04/facebook-messenger-takes-on-sms-with-no-account-needed/. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  15. Chat Heads come to Facebook Messenger for Android. The Verge. Retrieved on 12 April 2013.
  16. Facebook Messenger arrives for Windows Phone sans voice features. Engadget. Retrieved on 5 March 2014.
  17. Facebook launches standalone Messenger for web browsers. The Verge. Retrieved on 9 April 2015.
  18. Facebook Launches Messenger for Web Browsers. RE/CODE. Retrieved on 9 April 2015.
  19. Constine, Josh (March 5, 2012). Facebook Messenger For Windows Desktop Chat Client Launches After Leaking. TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved on August 12, 2012.
  20. Constine, Josh (November 21, 2012). Facebook Testing Messenger for Windows Ticker+Chat Desktop Client. TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved on August 12, 2012.
  21. אבי ,דוד (December 29, 2011). בלעדי: Facebook Messenger עבור מערכת ההפעלה Windows להורדה (Hebrew). TechIT. Retrieved on August 12, 2012.
  22. Warren, Tom (December 29, 2011). Facebook Messenger for Windows download made official following leak. Retrieved on November 17, 2015.
  23. O'Connor, Jack (March 5, 2012). Introducing Messenger for Windows. Facebook Newsroom. Facebook. Retrieved on August 12, 2012.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Facebook Messenger on Windows and Firefox will be no more March 3. TechRadar. Retrieved on 5 March 2014.
  25. http://thenextweb.com/facebook/2014/02/27/facebook-gives-desktop-apps-facebook-messenger-firefox-will-also-shut-march-3/
  26. Secure Messaging Scorecard. Electronic Frontier Foundation (6 November 2014). Retrieved on 7 January 2016.

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