As a free chat and mobile messaging app for smartphones, Facebook messenger lets individuals hold group chats, send text messages, make voice calls to friends on Facebooks and share videos or photos. This app is available for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows phone and the iPad.

One drawback is voice calls, and text messages don’t go to the user’s monthly allowance for SMS texting or voice calling plans on their cell phones. This is because messages sent through the app bypass the network of the carrier by using the internet. They don’t count for internet data usage or use any voice calling minutes or SMS messaging quota.

It depends on the version, but Facebook can switch between Facebook messaging and SMS text messaging. The app does not distract users with ticker or news feed. The app has been around a long time, but it was announced in 2014 users must download Facebook messenger to use instant mobile messaging. The app has a high level of competition.

An instant messaging feature called Facebook Chat was released by Facebook in 2008. Users could hold group chats or instantly send live messages. This was a part of the social network, on the web or desktop, worked in the web browser, and required no separate software. Facebook additionally offered asynchronous messaging which was like private email.

These features were unified in 2010, and the same inbox could be used to view or store text messages. Individuals were assigned email addresses. In 2011, a Skype partnership allowed video calls to be added. Facebook Messenger became a separate app for mobile messaging for Android and iPhone. In 2012 the same app was redesigned for computers using Windows. Support for the messaging app for desktops was withdrawn in 2014.

In 2012, the app became faster and more message notifications were offered. Users could see where the message sender was located, and when a message had been viewed. In 2012, Facebook messenger and Mozilla Firefox made a deal and messenger was integrated into Mozilla’s browser. Live chat could be used on desktops without going to

A new version of the app was released for Android’s, and a messaging app not requiring a Facebook account was established. Messenger could be downloaded and used on an Android phone and was now associated with the phone number instead of email or Facebook. The Poke feature was revamped, and disappearing messages could be sent. It never became popular and is no longer promoted.