Developer: Facebook, Inc.
Price: Free
Version: 2.3.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

facebook messenger 1Facebook Messenger is a standalone app that lets users chat with friends and family without having to access Facebook itself. The interface is simple. Instead of viewing a newsfeed, users are presented with a list of their friends so that they can instantly chat.

It’s possible to see who’s online so users can start up a conversation without wondering if their friend is even there. Those who don’t have time to sit and wait for a response can turn on notification alerts and never miss another message again. In addition, users can store the friends that they chat with the most at the top so they aren’t always scrolling through their list to try and find them.

Sending messages is fast since the app updates in real time. What makes Facebook Messenger convenient is that it integrates well with iOS to make the chat experience more enjoyable since users can send messages to friends or contacts. Once a message is sent, users never have to worry if the recipient received it because they can tell who’s seen the message.

Facebook users aren’t just limited to messages with one person because users can now send messages to one or more recipients with ease thanks to the updated group conversations. Groups can be named at the top of any conversation, and it’s easy to access the conversations with just one swipe to the left.

facebook messenger 2When simple text messages aren’t enough, users can also reply with picture attachments and voice recordings to make the conversation even more personal by tapping on the plus button to the left of the message box. There’s also an adorable assortment of emoticons for those who can’t get enough of them. Also, users can not only send free text messages but also send voice messages and even make free calls thanks to its VoIP service.

Facebook Messenger does a decent job integrating well with iOS thanks to its many features like calling friends through the cell phone carrier directly within the app and there’s even a Free Call option to call friends through its VoIP service. However, the one disappointment is that there isn’t’ support for video calling.

Facebook Messenger is still the best way to chat with Facebook friends—which makes it essential for those who chat a lot. The new Chat Heads feature that is rolling won’t be as integrated as it is for Android users, but it will make things easier for those who use the standalone Facebook app since it will basically float on the main Facebook window while users check out their news feed. For those who frequently makes plans with groups of friends or anyone who just wishes to avoid wasting time reading status updates, Facebook Messenger is the best route to go for now. I can’t wait to see what Facebook has in store for the future of Facebook Messenger.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Social Networking

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