Windows Phone has long had a special relationship with Facebook. Even back in the days of Mango, Facebook enjoyed deep integration with Microsoft’s mobile platform, with the People hub merging contacts with Facebook profiles and the stock Messaging app offering a tab for Facebook chat. So much focus on Facebook integration with the OS has led to the official Facebook app for WP remaining a little undercooked. The app has its positives, but there can be no denying the fact that it is not as feature-rich as its iOS and Android counterparts. The lack of a standalone Facebook messenger app is another thing that has been caused by WP8’s integration with Facebook. While the chat feature in Messages is good enough for simple communication, it doesn’t have any of the bells and whistles that usually come with messenger apps. This is exactly why a lot of people have been rushing to the WP Store to get their hands on the newly released Facebook Messenger app for WP8!
Just like the Messenger app on other platforms, Facebook Messenger for WP8 requires users to enter their account credentials or phone number before they can get started. Once logged in, all your recent chat threads and a list of active contacts is loaded. The text below each contact’s bubble indicates the source from where the person is online. To start a chat, simply tap the desired thread, or create a new conversation by hitting the ‘+’ button from the bottom bar.
Within chat threads, it is possible to attach photos or share stickers with your friends. The app offers the full host of stickers and a sticker store that is available on other mobile platforms. By default, a few sticker groups are functional, while the rest have to be purchased separately.
Long-pressing a particular message reveals options like ‘Delete’ and ‘View Details’. These details include the location from where the message was sent (if allowed by the sender) and the message’s timestamp. To jump to the sender’s timeline, go to the bottom menu and choose the relevant option. Other options in this menu let you report content and start a group conversation.
Facebook Messenger comes with a live tile, lock screen notifications, and toast notifications. The live tile can be resized to the standard three dimensions, and displays a preview of the most recent message from your account, along with a count of unread messages. From the app’s settings, you can make things more (or less) interesting by toggling notifications, sounds, location and vibrations.
The only thing lacking in Facebook Messenger for WP8 is a connection with the official Facebook app. There is no easy way of jumping between the two apps, like there is on other major mobile platforms. Other than that, the app is completely worth a go.
If you are bored of the rather bland native chat feature in WP8, head to the following link, and grab Facebook Messenger for WP8 without spending anything at all.