Facebook Messenger Review

Facebook Communication Accessory for Mobile Devices

This is not a review on Facebook. Besides, who would write a review of Facebook? It is about Facebook Messenger, the instant messaging app that accompanies the social networking giant on mobile devices. You don’t need the app on your computer as a messenger is already embedded in the web interface that runs on your browser. However, the Facebook app for mobile devices does not cater for messaging and somewhat forces you to download and install this app for text messaging, voice and video calling with your friends.

While it is a decent app, it has much to improve both in terms of robustness and stability. Besides, there are a number of concerns and apprehensions among users pertaining to its alleged intention of spying over them.

The App

The app itself is called simply Messenger, as if Facebook wanted to own the dictionary word for itself. This would normally be at least unethical under business standards. It is currently available for iOS and Android. On the latter, it is rated at 3.9, which is quite low for such a celebrity. The app is quite bulky and takes up a lot of memory space. So if your phone’s internal memory is a concern, consider this point seriously.

The interface is quite simply a nice, with the usual pale blue and white theme. Nice simplistic icons and options give access to the basic and few options around.

You sign in with your Facebook credentials as it links directly to your account.

You are prompted to enter your phone number as well, but you may opt not to as it is not essential for communication here.

It is important to note that you are requested to validate certain permissions that have cause turmoil on the Facebook community. You of course have to agree with these permissions to be able to install and use.

Concerns are about security and privacy, but Facebook and other parties have endeavored since to give explanations as to those permissions and to reassure users that there is no privacy and security threat. The bad feelings still linger though, especially given Facebook’s notorious reputation of dealing in shady ways with people’s privacy.

The Cost

Facebook Messenger costs nothing and everything is free. You can make unlimited free voice and video calls to people as long as they are Facebook users and are using the messenger app. Text messages are also free.

Like any VoIP app, it uses your WiFi connection or 3G/4G data plan. So when you are not WiFi covered, you need to consider the cost of Facebook calls with regards to your data plan.

Features

This app allows you to communicate with the people out there using Facebook, but provided they use the app as well. You can send and receive text messages, make free unlimited voice calls and also video calls.

The other features are rather characteristic of instant messaging apps and include sharing of pictures, audio files and video files, that can be recorded on the spot.

Group messaging allows you to talk to up to fifty friends at a time, and the groups can be organized in a visually simple way, with squares representing them with descriptions and pictures.

Other features include free stickers, indication of presence of your friends, knowledge of when a friend reads a message, searching for people and groups, and notification sharing.

Bottom Line

One would expect Facebook to keep to its model of concentrating everything on its social networking platform, as Google has done. Detaching the messaging and media communication part from the social networking part, by providing this app, is a move that has not been appreciated by many. It makes things more difficult and spoils the social networking experience. Besides, the app lacks features, contains a lot of bugs and leaves a lot to desire.

But still, it is a full-fledged instant messaging and VoIP app that allows you to communicate with potentially a billion people worldwide using text, voice and video for completely free. If we consider only those using the Messenger app, then it will be 200,000.