Facebook Messenger Desktop App: Did You Try Yet?

Stefan van der VlagBest Practice, General, Guides & Resources


They have just released the Facebook Messenger desktop app for Mac and Windows, almost 9 years after the messaging app’s worldwide debut. It kinda feels like the desktop client for WhatsApp. Perhaps they got inspiration from this other Messaging App they acquired some time ago? Regardless, the question begs, are you missing out? 

Is the Facebook Messenger Desktop App Essential to your business?

Well, I hate to bring it to you. But, no… not yet. I’m sure Facebook has a trick or two up their sleeve – which may be revealed sometime soon or in the near future. But, right now… the Facebook Messenger desktop app brings the same features as the browser version. The only way I can see this winning from the browser version… With the Facebook Messenger desktop app, you keep your chats nicely organized. They’re simply not hidden away, buried somewhere in one of the several tabs you may have open.

The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “We’re all looking for more ways to be together even while we’re physically apart … “. See, FB announced the Messenger desktop apps last year at their F8 conference. The F8 for 2020 got canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis. And maybe, to make us a bit happier, they released the Facebook Messenger desktop apps? I don’t know, but since right now it’s just a browser version embedded in a desktop app… It makes perfect sense to launch this without too much hype.

Some personal insights…

The desktop app isn’t that special at first glance. Now, if you’re a “Curious George” you may have seen that last month the Mac version was being tested. Plus, Messenger already had a Windows app, 9 years ago, in 2011 before they archived it until its release right now. And as mentioned before, WhatsApp had a desktop app for a long time already… Why they would even release one right now, for Messenger, is still beyond me. 

Okay, I’m well aware I may come off as a “Negative Nancy”, but that’s because the app is still in its early stages! And I can’t sugarcoat something that’s just browser version in a desktop jacket, right? It would be a challenge to write something up… But, more importantly, an insult to your intelligence.

There’s not just to tell about this Facebook Messenger Desktop app that’s going to sit there and take 106.2 MBs on your harddisk… yet. But things change, as they often do. As a Messenger orientated company, Clepher welcomes change and new features. So, we’re definitely going to use it and report back to our users what our findings are. But, our developers are all using Linux, and it seems there’s no Linux version either. So, it would be our amazing girls from support and yours truly. 

Video Credit: Facebook.com

So, Where is This Desktop App going?

The short answer is, it’s too early to tell. What’s cool is that they released it during this COVID-19 crisis. And I do see the Facebook Messenger desktop version helping people in their day to day communication. So, kudos to you Facebook1 That said, one of the points where Messenger is losing right now is it can only handle up to 8 people on a group video call. Whereas Zoom can manage 100s of people at once! Of course, you need to pay to have that amount of people on. Plus, I don’t think it’s FB’s ambition to become a webinar-like presentation platform, and, of course, Messenger is an app you can use for free. And who or what can beat “Free”, right? 

Anyways, this new version of Messenger can easily support some of the new use cases that have emerged. I mean, just last week, I had a meeting on Zoom with my friends, having a beer and pizza on my cheat day, all while having fun. What is cool is that we can do this on Messenger now too. (Yay!)

But again, it’s a desktop version of Messenger. So, don’t expect that you’re able to share a link with people so they can quickly join the call. Again, Messenger at this stage is not useful – and simply not meant – for big webinar-like stuff. 

Another feature that’s missing is screen-sharing. This missing feature eliminates some business use cases. I do hope that they will add this future, though. As it will make selling Messenger Chatbots as an Agency to new and existing clients’ way easier. The thing is that “Workplace” (from FB) does offer screen sharing. So, they may be able to add this to the Messenger App as well!

Final thoughts

That said. Messenger remains a cool channel, if not the coolest. I’ve just tested our chatbot on the desktop version, and I must say, that was a smooth experience! Personally, I can’t wait to see some usage stats about the Facebook Messenger Desktop app. I predict that your bots will be engaged with more. IF the billions of people already using Messenger are adopting the desktop app. And that of course means… More of everything for you. 

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