iPhone/Android app news: Facebook Messenger outed

Standalone app promises fastest means of contact

Facebook launches its own version of BBM, Gtalk and iMessage.

Facebook has launched a new standalone application for iPhone and Android which it says will ensure friends will receive your messages faster than ever before.

The Facebook Messenger app will allow you to fire off quick messages to both Facebook friends and regular phone contacts, sending notifications through both the app and text message.

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Facebook points out that when you need to reach a group of friends at short notice it's often difficult to pick which method of correspondence. Will they read their email, check texts or Facebook first? (How about giving them a call?)

The social networking giant says this will sort the problem by allowing to easily start a group chat and, for example, quickly arrange a place to meet after work. Handily, you can also attach your location and a photo of where you're at.

The app is available to download now from the respective app stores and will no doubt give Apple's forthcoming free BBM-alike iMessage service for iOS a run for its money.

Link: Facebook Blog