Almost 5 months after Facebook acquired WhatsApp, they still want to make sure their original chat app is appreciated by millions of users. Facebook Messenger comes out with an update so big, it's not even worth mentioning in the "What's new" section of the app's description. Or maybe they forgot to do so.
Version 7.0 is a full-fledged iPad app. Not an enlarged iPhone app, but a newly designed one.
Facebook Messenger for iPad takes some design cues from Apple's own the Messages App or the Yahoo Messenger App, but most of the features are borrowed from its iPhone counterpart.
If you have the Facebook for iPad app installed, when you first open Messenger you are presented with a screen that simply says: "Welcome to Messenger. Thanks for installing - let's get you set up!". You have the option to continue with the same Facebook account or switch to another one.
The second set-up screen asks you to enable Push Notifications and you can get on your way. Further, when you get to the keyboard you are being asked to Enable your Location.
According to TechCrunch, the app had over 200 million users back in April 2014, but over 40 millions iPads are sold every quarter so this app has potential to grow just as much.
Facebook markets Messenger as three different ways to talk to your friends: "Text the people you care about, for free", "Say it better with stickers", "Free calls, even to friends across the world".
Just like in the iPhone version you get a list of your recent conversations and then you can start group chats, search for people and see who is active on Facebook. You can set the Notifications off for an hour or until morning, get to choose whether you want to see notifications previews in the lock screen and iOS banners and you are presented with settings to invite your friends or sync your contacts to your Address Book.
Facebook Messenger comes with a standard pack of stickers (oversized animated Smileys), but the Sticker Store has 65 more packs to choose from, just a download button away.
Funny enough, searching for "Facebook messenger for iPad" in the AppStore doesn't even get you the app in the results page yet.
Facebook paid $19 billion to get WhatsApp. The free messaging app was, at the time, their biggest competitor, with over 500 million users. However, WhatsApp does not have an iPad app yet, nor any public plans to release one anytime soon.
Another benefit of widely used multi-platform messaging apps is that they work on non-phone devices and are not limited to your Apple ID, like iMessage.
Feel free to download and try Facebook Messenger for iPad today!