“Facebook is increasingly becoming the foremost chatting and messaging service for many of it’s users. And although I am by no means a heavy Facebook user, I frequently find myself logging in just to check messages and request from contacts (whatever happened to email, folks?).
If this sounds familiar to you, and especially if you do a lot of chatting on Facebook, then check out “Messenger for Windows”, a free desktop client that lives in your system tray and brings most facets of Facebook into the desktop.
What this is is a desktop client for Facebook that can be accessed in Windows’ system tray area and lets you access Friend Requests, Messages, Notifications, and chat right from your desktop, without needing to open your browser.
Facebook Messenger is software that comes to you from Facebook themselves. It doesn’t do everything that you can do in a browser (e.g. it will not display the latest stories/posts); however what it does support is: Friend Requests, Messages, and Notification, and where it shines is in chat, giving you the typical instant messaging experience.
The verdict: the bottom line is that frequent users of Facebook may like – nay LOVE – this thing (and I’ve seen this first hand with some acquaintances I recommended it to). For better or worse, this software is designed to keep you notified in real time as soon as certain events occur, such as comments, photo tags, etc, even as you are doing other things on your computer.
It does have some minor drawbacks though, such as the fact that it does not give users the ability to opt out of starting the program with Windows (a program like Starter can help you do this though), and the fact that it is not a very small program in memory (upward of 60 megs, which is not too much but certainly not little). Another drawback: the docking to the side of the screen function will mess up your icons on your desktop.
In sum, if you love Facebook, you will love Facebook Messenger.
[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip about this software]
Go to the program page to download (~481K).