Facebook Messenger coming to iPad with new app

May 2, 2012
Tech

Facebook’s popular and extremely useful Facebook Messenger has only been available on the iPhone so far, but a new report says that the Internet-based messaging app is making the leap to the iPad. As 9to5Mac reports, there’s currently a beta version of Facebook Messenger that the social networking company is testing for the iPad, and […]

Facebook’s popular and extremely useful Facebook Messenger has only been available on the iPhone so far, but a new report says that the Internet-based messaging app is making the leap to the iPad.

As 9to5Mac reports, there’s currently a beta version of Facebook Messenger that the social networking company is testing for the iPad, and it features a lot of the same capabilities that come baked into the iPhone version. That app is particularly handy because it allows users to find and interact with their Facebook friends using the social network’s Chat feature. That means you can talk to other Facebook users who are logged-in to the app from a mobile device, or interact with them while they’re logged-in to Facebook through a web browser.

The report notes that users familiar with Facebook’s smartphone offering of Facebook Messenger will feel at home with the iPad version, because it’s basically the same thing, only bigger. That means it has the capability to allow group chatting and show where other people using Facebook are located on a map so that you can easily locate your friends. The app also can send push notifications to ping users when they receive new messages.

While the app’s not significantly different from the iPhone version, it’ll still be a nice thing for iPad users once it’s completed. Chat in Facebook’s stand-alone iPad app is a big of a headache to use, and Facebook Messenger brings a quality chat experience to the tablet that makes contacting a huge number of people – your entire Facebook friend list – extremely easy.

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When Facebook Messenger launched on the iPhone, it was touted as an app that might kill text messaging. That didn’t really happen, but in iPad form, the app brings a decent equivalent to that smartphone function to the iPad and allows it to draw on Facebook’s massive user base.

Also in the 9to5Mac report is information from an unnamed source regarding upgrades to the iPhone version of Facebook Messenger. That app update will include Skype-powered video call capability, bringing users an equivalent to Apple’s FaceTime service that’s not limited to other Apple device owners, but expanded to all Facebook friends. According to 9to5Mac’s report, the iPhone app will likely be updated first, followed by Facebook Messenger on Android.

After a long drought of Facebook support for the iPad, a new messenger app for the tablet will be a nice reminder to Facebook users that the social network hasn’t forgotten about other platforms. The great thing about Facebook Messenger for iPad is that it’ll help to make connect and contacting people a whole lot easier for the entire iPad-using population.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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