In line with the announcement at last year’s F8 developer conference, Facebook has today launched the much-awaited Messenger desktop app for macOS and Windows. The desktop app has arrived around a year after it was first announced. The timing couldn’t be better though. Video calling apps are the need of the hour during COVID-19 lockdown and the Messenger desktop app should come in handy to text, audio or video call friends for free.
One of the key highlights of the Messenger desktop app is “unlimited and free” group video calls, as per the official blog post. But, it’s not really unlimited in terms of total number of group call participants. You can add only up to eight video call participants at one time. It means you can connect with a few friends here, but can’t hold classrooms as you could do with Zoom or Hangouts Meet.
The Messenger desktop app also brings along notification support (receive the latest messages right away) and chat sync across mobile and desktops. This means you can easily switch between devices without moving away from an ongoing conversation. It may not be a big deal but the desktop app on macOS and Windows also includes dark mode support. Less strain on the eyes while sharing GIFs and stickers.
The app feels snappy and responsive but the settings page is sparse and only lets you tweak a couple of options. Many features like screen sharing and secret conversations (already baked in the mobile app) are missing in action. Messenger seems to be the perfect choice for casual conversations instead of business meetings with your boss.
The Messenger desktop apps come right in time for users to be able to easily text or video call friends during the COVID-19 quarantine period. “Group video calls and messages on our apps have surged — Messenger use on desktop has more than doubled in the last month. These new native apps will make the experience a lot better,” says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an official post.