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Facebook Launches Messenger For Web Browsers
Facebook offers web users separate messaging option, but has no plans to remove chat from main desktop experience.
Facebook launched a web-based version of its mobile Messenger app today, but unlike Messenger moves in the past, the social network isn’t planning to force it on anyone.
Last year Facebook sparked anger by making downloading the Messenger app mandatory for people who wanted to chat with Facebook friends on mobile devices. This time the spinoff is totally optional, a move intended to give people a way to communicate with Facebook contacts without logging into Facebook on the web.
The web experience is complementary to the app experience; all conversations are synced so people can shift easily between mobile and desktop devices.
David Marcus, the company’s vice president of messaging products, announced the launch in a Facebook post:
Marcus made it clear in a comment on his post that Facebook doesn’t intend to remove messaging from the main web platform. “That will never happen,” he wrote.
This move comes two weeks after the company announced it was opening the Messenger platform to third-party development at its annual F8 conference. The app, which has more than 600 million monthly active users, is also being positioned as a tool for businesses to communicate with customers.
Messenger for the web, which can be accessed at Messenger.com, is currently only available for profiles, not Facebook Pages, but that would seem to be an easy upgrade, and one that would be very popular with Page administrators.