Facebook Messenger for Windows leaks out, download available

If you have been salivating at an independent client to use for Facebook messenger, your download is awaiting. It would appear that the Facebook messenger for Windows is available according to techit.co.il. It is being reported that this is a private installation file that is being sent around internally at Facebook but was shared with outsiders in celebration of the new year. 

The messenger, like you would expect, operates independently of a web browser, allowing you to chat with your friends on Facebook independently of the website. The application comes with everything that you would expect and contains the classic functionality needed for conversation.

The application can be downloaded below, but beware this is not an official release from Facebook so proceed with caution.

Download: Facebook Messenger

Thanks to Ben for helping translating the source!

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I really like this. Easy and simple chat, and management of your notifications/messages. Also, I really love the minimal look

Uhhh.... maybe I got lucky, but Facebook asked me if I wanted to download this for the past few weeks. I've had it installed, it's nothing too special. It just feels like the chat part of the webpage was ripped out into a standalone app.

I wonder how this will stack up against Skype's Facebook integration. I'm guessing the new Facebook Messenger application will be better as it carries over the aesthetics from the Facebook website and it can prioritize the friends you frequently interact with. However, nobody wants two applications.

I don't know if I'll use this. I'm usually on fb.
Facebook has totally killed msn messenger and yahoo messenger for me. Nobody uses them anymore causing me to not use them as well.

The app is a bit usless tbh "You are unavailable to chat. You can change your availability in your browser." << so whats the point in the app?

It has potential, might be useful in the future.

foodan said,

Just had a look at the exe using dotPeek. It's pretty much a webbrowser control wrapped inside a the Window Chrome. The browser engine it is using is IE


So much for "operates independently of a web browser" when it relies so heavily on IE.
More accurately, in contrast, it's only using the IE/Trident engine, rather than the full IE.
Eitherway, it's still reliant on IE in some way. It still sucks.

Like any company, they want people to use their stuff even if it's similar functionality. Just like Google they are big enough to start locking you into their ecosystem more one bit at a time.

Like many of you, I'm asking "what's the point of this app?" I BARELY use Windows Live Messenger, and it fully integrates my FB chat. I rely almost exclusively on my WP7 device, which completely integrates all my messaging needs. I don't even think about where my messages are coming from/going to anymore because WP7 makes it virtually ubiquitous. This FB Chat app is a solution in search of a problem.

ScubaDog said,
Like many of you, I'm asking "what's the point of this app?" I BARELY use Windows Live Messenger, and it fully integrates my FB chat. I rely almost exclusively on my WP7 device, which completely integrates all my messaging needs. I don't even think about where my messages are coming from/going to anymore because WP7 makes it virtually ubiquitous. This FB Chat app is a solution in search of a problem.

This is primarily aimed at the PC population. WP7 is very very tiny compared to PC, so for you, it's probably pointless. But regardless, it's out there.

ScubaDog said,
Like many of you, I'm asking "what's the point of this app?" I BARELY use Windows Live Messenger, and it fully integrates my FB chat. I rely almost exclusively on my WP7 device, which completely integrates all my messaging needs. I don't even think about where my messages are coming from/going to anymore because WP7 makes it virtually ubiquitous. This FB Chat app is a solution in search of a problem.

The solution to the real problem is that no-one wants to use one standard for all it's communication. Imagine the world of chat if everyone used the same protocol. This is why BBM is very popular with young people as they can get a Blackberry phone and know they can use BBM to talk to all their mates. If everyone just had to use an email address to 'login' into a chat program that was universal to all phones and places then that would be the biggest thing possible.

To everyone talking about the issues around it, remember that this is still in heavy beta. If it was a final release, there wouldn't need to be a leak to the dragon server.

FalseAgent said,
this is seriously going to give Windows Live Messenger a run for it's userbase.

Microsoft will probably focus on Skype and let FB have the consumer messaging infrastructure, only maintaining non-FB integrated users. Right now so much of WLM traffic is FB anyway, and add in the Skype variable and the FB-Skype integration variable.

When you do the guesstimate on this, Microsoft is either letting FB have the market, or FB and Microsoft are working together and Microsoft will supply the messaging infrastructure for FB in the future.

Microsoft and Live/MSN Groups have already turned given the market to FB and only implement a basic 'group' feature for non-FB users. Why reinvent the wheel, when everyone is currently using the round one. Microsoft seems to usually get this, until they can make a better than round wheel, then they will offer the idea to FB and others and if they don't use it, they will create their version for a while until the 'concept' catches on, and then once again let FB or the new leader have the market.

It may not be an "official release from Facebook", but it's hosted on their servers and has an activation that doesn't require a click from a user, leading me to believe this is a real application. I don't think the user beware is needed in this case.

bdsams said,
I realized that but until its official offered by FB, it could contain bugs etc. Playing on the side of caution.

Official downloads can contain bugs too you know. I assume you really mean "malware" but this has been signed by Facebook themselves so you can be 99.99% sure it's perfectly safe.

testman said,

Official downloads can contain bugs too you know. I assume you really mean "malware" but this has been signed by Facebook themselves so you can be 99.99% sure it's perfectly safe.

More like, he's erring on the side that it may be an unfinished build, and not intended for general public use just yet

I still have friends that do not show as online to me, who are definitely set online, and set to show as online to me, they show up to a few of my other friends.
One has even let me log into their account to try and solve the issue, all permissions are set up right, we've even created fresh new groups for visibility.

If it isn't a website issue (and if effects all browers and the Android fb and chat client so far), and this client doesn't get around issues like that, facebook chat is pretty useless and horribly frustrating

Personnaly i still use WLM for real chat. I don't like the idea that i must be on facebook for the chat. A lot of my friends aren't on Facebook and i mostly only send message to my 18 years old cousin for time to time...

ryoohki said,
Personnaly i still use WLM for real chat. I don't like the idea that i must be on facebook for the chat. A lot of my friends aren't on Facebook and i mostly only send message to my 18 years old cousin for time to time...

Sorry, what? Who's forcing you to be on Facebook? What's the difference between chatting on FB and on WLM? Chatting is chatting, regardless of it's face.

Tony. said,

Sorry, what? Who's forcing you to be on Facebook? What's the difference between chatting on FB and on WLM? Chatting is chatting, regardless of it's face.

I assume they mean...

With WLM, you don't have to keep the FB Web Page open, and can stay 'online' in FB for people to interact with you.

Without WLM (Windows Live Messenger), as soon as you close your brower or navigate away from Facebook, you go offline.

Just with people I interact with, it is crazy annoying when they are on FB send you a message, and then don't realize it shoves them offline when they leave the FB web page, with no way to get their attention if your response is really important for example.

It's funny how things come around again. AIM anyone? ICQ? We've been through the IM fad. I thought web-based apps is the way to go for obvious reasons. This is a step backwards.

seebaran said,
It's funny how things come around again. AIM anyone? ICQ? We've been through the IM fad. I thought web-based apps is the way to go for obvious reasons. This is a step backwards.

This would require a web browser to stay open.

Never DLed the Android FB messaging App and doubt I will the Windows one. I dont use instant messaging apps anymore and never did on my phone.

j2006 said,
Meh... this is already built-in to Windows Live Messenger... no point in installing multiple clients.
I'm sorry, but the FB Chat integration with Windows Live Messenger is HORRIBLE. Messages get sent twice, if you have the site open at the same time they don't arrive, and there is a huge delay. I'd take this standalone client any time.

And, who the **** still uses Messenger? I have exactly one contact left in my contact list that signs on every day, the others have just all switched to FB Chat...

Ambroos said,
I'm sorry, but the FB Chat integration with Windows Live Messenger is HORRIBLE. Messages get sent twice, if you have the site open at the same time they don't arrive, and there is a huge delay. I'd take this standalone client any time.

And, who the **** still uses Messenger? I have exactly one contact left in my contact list that signs on every day, the others have just all switched to FB Chat...

Millions of people still use Messenger, check the stats. Just because your group of friends may not, doesnt mean the rest of the world isn't. Also, I haven't noticed any of those delays or double messages you're talking about. Must be an error from your end or the server your account is hosted on. You could have simply reported that to look into the issue since they're pretty good with that.

j2006 said,

Millions of people still use Messenger, check the stats. Just because your group of friends may not, doesnt mean the rest of the world isn't. Also, I haven't noticed any of those delays or double messages you're talking about. Must be an error from your end or the server your account is hosted on. You could have simply reported that to look into the issue since they're pretty good with that.

I have also noticed these problems as well. If you initiate a conversation with someone in the web interface or your phone while you're signed into the WLMessenger account associated with Facebook, you'll get a message originating from "Someone on Facebook."

That's on top of the .NET messenger's general crappiness with contact handling, but that's for another thread.

Denis W said,

I have also noticed these problems as well. If you initiate a conversation with someone in the web interface or your phone while you're signed into the WLMessenger account associated with Facebook, you'll get a message originating from "Someone on Facebook."

That's on top of the .NET messenger's general crappiness with contact handling, but that's for another thread.

Ok, haven't EVER seen the double messaging, I would guess there is some ISP context issue that would cause this.

Also .NET Messenger? WTH is that?

I hope the next version of Messenger is .NET based and integrates better now that Microsoft doesn't have to relegate it to a separate entity because of the DOJ ruling that has held back Windows integration for 10 years.

The WP7 integrated FB/Messenger chatting is Silverlight/.NET based, but it technically isn't an App, as it is a part of the OS messaging system.

Yet another lazy auto-installer that instantly installs the program in the WRONG place.
Software MUST NOT EVER be installed to the User Data or Documents and Settings.
That is NON-standard, and a potential security risk.

The Program Files directory in Windows is there for a reason. That reason being the
installation of software. The Documents and Settings and/or User Data areas are
also there for a reason, and that is NOT for installing software.

As soon as I spotted this program had installed itself to the User Data area, I then
uninstalled it straightaway without even logging in to try it. This program, like any
other app that installs to a non-standard location, is now completely BANNED
from all future installations on my network until this defect is corrected.

DJGM: I couldn't agree more! And yet so many people, techy people do not understand this basic principal.

DJGM said,
Yet another lazy auto-installer that instantly installs the program in the WRONG place.
Software MUST NOT EVER be installed to the User Data or Documents and Settings.
That is NON-standard, and a potential security risk.

The Program Files directory in Windows is there for a reason. That reason being the
installation of software. The Documents and Settings and/or User Data areas are
also there for a reason, and that is NOT for installing software.

As soon as I spotted this program had installed itself to the User Data area, I then
uninstalled it straightaway without even logging in to try it. This program, like any
other app that installs to a non-standard location, is now completely BANNED
from all future installations on my network until this defect is corrected.

iKenndac said,
How is it a security risk, exactly?

With UAC enabled, nothing can change files in program files without admin prompt, this is not a case with stuff installed to user's directory. Now imagine attack, that changes executable of the facebook client, next time you will run facebook chat, you will actually run something malicious.

There are few other attacks if you care. One that I described is most easy to understand.

Mike Chaliy said,

With UAC enabled, nothing can change files in program files without admin prompt, this is not a case with stuff installed to user's directory. Now imagine attack, that changes executable of the facebook client, next time you will run facebook chat, you will actually run something malicious.

There are few other attacks if you care. One that I described is most easy to understand.


Actually, this would actually limit any attacks to the user folders, which is as intended. Google Chrome also installs to the user folder.

Programs installed in the Program Files folder doesn't mean things can be changed in the User folder.

DJGM said,
Yet another lazy auto-installer that instantly installs the program in the WRONG place.
Software MUST NOT EVER be installed to the User Data or Documents and Settings.
That is NON-standard, and a potential security risk.

The Program Files directory in Windows is there for a reason. That reason being the
installation of software. The Documents and Settings and/or User Data areas are
also there for a reason, and that is NOT for installing software.

As soon as I spotted this program had installed itself to the User Data area, I then
uninstalled it straightaway without even logging in to try it. This program, like any
other app that installs to a non-standard location, is now completely BANNED
from all future installations on my network until this defect is corrected.

The reason some software developers are doing it (notably Google) is because an application can be installed, updated and run without need for use of Admin privileges. If a program was to be installed and updated (i.e. like a web browser), you would need to give admin privileges to access the folder so it can be written too.

Not just that, but when an application is run in the local user mode (i.e. non-admin), if there was to be a virus, it would only be contained within the users directory and not the rest of the system.

This way of doings things is far better, more convient and to me, more secure.

Tony. said,

The reason some software developers are doing it (notably Google) is because an application can be installed, updated and run without need for use of Admin privileges. If a program was to be installed and updated (i.e. like a web browser), you would need to give admin privileges to access the folder so it can be written too.

Not just that, but when an application is run in the local user mode (i.e. non-admin), if there was to be a virus, it would only be contained within the users directory and not the rest of the system.

This way of doings things is far better, more convient and to me, more secure.


This is most definitely a security risk, as it allows users of computers they have no
admin rights to, to install unauthorised software that would otherwise be blocked
if it was written to install to the STANDARD location ... Program Files.

It's only a matter of time before malicious software follows suit with this type of
installer and you've got a dangerous security nightmare waiting to happen.

Google have set an extremely dangerous precedent that must be eradicated.

DJGM said,

This is most definitely a security risk, as it allows users of computers they have no
admin rights to, to install unauthorised software that would otherwise be blocked
if it was written to install to the STANDARD location ... Program Files.

It's only a matter of time before malicious software follows suit with this type of
installer and you've got a dangerous security nightmare waiting to happen.

Google have set an extremely dangerous precedent that must be eradicated.

Again, this is incorrect, because again, the install will only be limited to the user directory of the actual user who installed it. You can't go into someone elses profile without granting admin rights. You cannot alter any part of the system which can be crucial to it's operation without admin privileges. You are under some misguided illusion that if someone installs a program within it's user directory that this compromises the actual system. A default user profile is within the Administrator group, but you still need to tell the UAC to allow the higher admin functions to install programs within the Program Files directory or any directory crucial Windows directory i.e. C:\Windows, C:\Program Files\, C:\ Users and so on.

If my user directory on my Windows install was C:\users\Tony and I install Google Chrome from a dodgy site which is infected, the installer would only be allowed allowed to alter files within the C:\users\Tony directory as this is the only folder that I can change without giving higher privileges.

Now, let's say that Google Chrome install asked for admin privileges (like if it was to be installed in the Program Files like any other normal setup), it doesn't matter if it installed in the user directory or in the Program Files, the setup would be given admin functions that can compromise the rest of the system.

I hope I've explained this to you and I hope someone else can either promote what I said for others to see and realise or if I'm calling bull**** then they can correct me, but with actual hard evidence rather than assumptions.

DJGM said,
Yet another lazy auto-installer that instantly installs the program in the WRONG place.
Software MUST NOT EVER be installed to the User Data or Documents and Settings.
That is NON-standard, and a potential security risk.

The Program Files directory in Windows is there for a reason. That reason being the
installation of software. The Documents and Settings and/or User Data areas are
also there for a reason, and that is NOT for installing software.

As soon as I spotted this program had installed itself to the User Data area, I then
uninstalled it straightaway without even logging in to try it. This program, like any
other app that installs to a non-standard location, is now completely BANNED
from all future installations on my network until this defect is corrected.

Programs and Applications already get FULL permissions to user area on the computer, this is true in *nix and Windows.

So by installing itself there, it is gaining NOTHING. I'm surprised people think there is a difference.

At first glance your security argument might raise an eyebrow, but when you work out the effect, there is no concern.

What this does allow is corporate users to install a 'web' based client Application without Administrative rights. That would be the only problem, and a good IT Admin should still have it blocked if this is the company's policy.

PS Isn't the Application just using the IE engine anyway, which means the Application is sandboxed as well?


testman said,

Actually, this would actually limit any attacks to the user folders, which is as intended. Google Chrome also installs to the user folder.

Programs installed in the Program Files folder doesn't mean things can be changed in the User folder.

Thanks for the information. Uninstalled Google Chrome!

Rahul Mulchandani said,

Thanks for the information. Uninstalled Google Chrome!

Not sure why you did that, it's actually a good thing that Google does this because it would never need administrator rights to access other parts of the system it doesn't need to.

Firefox and Internet Explorer can still be attacked in the same way, the difference being is that Firefox and Internet Explorer need administrator rights to update which would open up the system for vulnerability.

When you run a program, it runs in the user environment either way, if you go into the task manager you'll see it's being run under your name. The only time this would be different if it needed to be run with administrator rights i.e. when updating. So as I keep saying, you can either let Google Chrome update it self without any user rights or use another browser which needs administrator rights to update. I rather choose Chrome over Firefox just for this specific area.

Both ways of doings things are not "wrong" but follow different ways of security, the choice is yours, but just so you know, Google's choice to run Chrome in the user environment (like in Linux) is no more unsafe than if it was if it was installed in the programs directory like Firefox.

I dont even really understand the one on iPhone. Why do i need two apps for FB? And what advantage does this do different than than WP7? Straight chat?

MikeInBA said,
I dont even really understand the one on iPhone. Why do i need two apps for FB? And what advantage does this do different than than WP7? Straight chat?

I had the exact same thoughts as you and ended up deleting it.

MikeInBA said,
I dont even really understand the one on iPhone. Why do i need two apps for FB? And what advantage does this do different than than WP7? Straight chat?

The native Messenger app seems a bit more responsive than the one in the Facebook app, and the Messenger app allows you to temporarily suppress alerts.

On the other hand you can't see a list of online people in the Messenger app, but it's not really required due to the unified inbox.

Denis W said,

The native Messenger app seems a bit more responsive than the one in the Facebook app, and the Messenger app allows you to temporarily suppress alerts.

On the other hand you can't see a list of online people in the Messenger app, but it's not really required due to the unified inbox.

Thats the other thing, you can actually see who is online, but they only show when you start a new message and have to select them from a list. I never understood this app....

MikeInBA said,
I dont even really understand the one on iPhone. Why do i need two apps for FB? And what advantage does this do different than than WP7? Straight chat?

I've noticed that the native app does allow us to attach images while the FB app messaging does not. But I am using the Facebook app only I deleted the messenger app.

Denis W said,

The native Messenger app seems a bit more responsive than the one in the Facebook app, and the Messenger app allows you to temporarily suppress alerts.

On the other hand you can't see a list of online people in the Messenger app, but it's not really required due to the unified inbox.

FB contacts show online and offline in Messenger, not sure what you are noticing or missing...

xpclient said,
Meh web download, no full download=won't try.

And why would a full-download be needed for a chat-only application?

PGHammer said,

And why would a full-download be needed for a chat-only application?

To extract the installer and try to make a portable version...

xpclient said,

Thanks! But at 388 KB, this doesn't look like a native desktop app (rich client) but a web-based client wrapped in a windows desktop app frame.


It seems like it, but it isn't. The ticker and notification are great and you can dock it on the right side so that you can always have it running

It requires the browser to login & to change chat status! And works with Vista as well, but not XP. Now who could be behind this?

xpclient said,
It requires the browser to login & to change chat status! And works with Vista as well, but not XP. Now who could be behind this?
I don't get what are you trying to point out -_-

Wish they did a custom chrome thingy (like Echofon for Windows.) or just no chrome. Seems great as it's exactly the same like the browser app.