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Facebook launches standalone messenger app

Messenger for iOS and Android is being rolled out in Apple’s App store

Facebook launches standalone messenger app
Facebook launches first standalone app. Messenger for iOS and Android utilises functionality of Facebook Messenger and elements of the messaging start-up Facebook purchased in February, Beluga.

Facebook is launching a standalone messenger application following their purchase of group messaging start-up, Beluga, in February, according to TechCrunch.

The standalone messaging app will be called Messenger for iOS and Android, and fuses  features of Beluga with Facebook Messages.

The app is currently being rolled out on Apple's App store and should be available shortly on the Android Market.

According to TechCrunch, the new app is a lot like Facebook messaging. When a user clicks on Messenger, they will see a list of recent conversations being held on Facebook and because the app is linked to Facebook, users will also be able to see chats and direct messages on Facebook on the new app.

To start a conversation, users click on the person they want to talk to, and if a friend send a user a message when they are not online, they will get a push notification.

Users can also set up groups by typing in friends' names, with contacts drawn from both a users' Facebook friends list and phone address book.

Messages to Facebook friends are sent via Facebook Messages, and messages sent to contacts that aren't on Facebook are sent via SMS.

Features more specific to Beluga, such as geolocation are included in the app, and users' can plot the location of their group-members on a map.

The app can also be muted if users are busy and individual friends can also be muted.

This is the first time that Facebook has launched a standalone mobile app for one of its products.

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