Facebook’s 750 million users may have yet another reason to cheer—or at the very least, smile broadly. The company has launched Messenger, a standalone app for iOS and Android that lets users send messages to Facebook friends as well as non-FB users (via SMS). This is the first time the company has launched a standalone mobile app (rather than a branded “Facebook” feature).
The app is easy to use, but that comes as no surprise: Messenger for iOS was developed by Beluga, a group-messaging startup Facebook acquired back in February. TechCrunch’s Jason Kincaid says Facebook’s launch of Messenger looks to be part of the company’s strategy for releasing additional standalone apps (like the reputed Photos app). And while Messenger won’t necessarily replace SMS apps in the short term, in the long run, the app seems to be paving the way for users to connect to their friends via messenger rather than SMS.
Read more at TechCrunch.