First Facebook expanded its presence from web to mobile with an app, and then it separated the messaging function from the app with its Messenger. Now, the social networking giant has brought the Messenger service back to web but as a standalone service. Although it may seem pointless for Facebook to offer a standalone web version of Messenger when the chat option is already integrated into the main site, the company is justifying the new launch as a way to offer distraction-free messaging.
Bringing WhatsApp to web made complete sense as the instant messenger was only a mobile app and offering a web-based client extended its reach to PCs. Treating Messenger with the same fate has raised several questions. In a statement issued to Re/Code, a company spokesperson said that using the Facebook main site for chatting comes with distractions from the News Feed and friends' profiles but Messenger.com eliminates that by offering nothing but a chat window spread across the webpage.
It is not clear if Facebook is trying to separate the messaging function from the main site, which is what it did with the main mobile app on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. The social network forced users to download the Messenger app to continue using the messaging service on mobile. Several users protested the move but adapted to the change eventually.
The main question here is if Facebook will manage to shift users from its main site to the new standalone Messenger.com without losing its strong foothold. But that's something users should not be worried about, at least for now, Re/Code reported.
If you are curious what Facebook has in store with Messenger.com, there's no disappointment to an extent. The interface is almost identical to WhatsApp for Web. The service is currently offered only in English while the company has promised to support more languages in the future.
In order to use Messenger.com, users must have a Facebook account. By logging into the new web based service, all chats will appear as in the main site. Users can make audio and video calls by tapping the respective icons on top right corner of each contact's chat window. Users can also initiate group chats by tapping the + icon or even mute notifications by selecting the information icon in the extreme corner.
The web-based Messenger.com is a standalone service, unlike WhatsApp for Web, and does not require a mobile app installed on the phone.