Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging app released by Facebook, separate to the core Facebook experience. The application allows users to engage in instant messaging, sending either text, images, or videos, with any other member of the social network.
The app was launched in 2011 following Facebook’s acquisition of group massaging app Beluga and is currently available on a wide range of smartphones and tablets. If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet then the application is also available on desktop as part of the Facebook site as well as a dedicated messenger app on FireFox.
Facebook Messenger is available to all users but even those who are not registered to the service can use it. When a new user without a Facebook account downloads and opens the application they will be met with a standard login prompt or they can simply enter their name and phone number to operate the service that way.
Large groups of people are still sceptical of Facebook and the launch of a messaging app not completely tied to the core service was one way in which the social media giant could compete with rivals such as Kik and Whatsapp. These other applications also allow users to operate the services with just their phone number and name.