Microsoft confirms Facebook Messenger app coming to Windows Phone

As part of Microsoft's Mobile World Congress press conference in Barcelona, Spain today, the company confirmed that it will be adding a version of Facebook Messenger to the library of apps made for its Windows Phone OS.

TechCrunch reports that, according to Microsoft's Windows Phone leader Joe Belfiore, the release of the app could be just "weeks" away. He added, "We’ve been working with Facebook testing out their implementation for a while. It’s looking good and we will have it for our customers soon."

Microsoft has been developing the official Facebook app for Windows Phone, using their own team, for a while now. In April 2013, Microsoft launched a Facebook Windows Phone beta program, allowing anyone to download pre-release versions before the changes are incorporated into the official Facebook app. It's unclear if Microsoft will do the same thing for the Facebook Messenger app.

A couple of months ago, Microsoft confirmed that there are now over 200,000 apps available in the Windows Phone Store. In today's press conference, Belfiore said that the total number of app downloads from the store has exceeded 4 billion. He added that "more compelling demanded user apps" for the OS will be announced in the near future.

Source: TechCrunch | Image via TechCrunch

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Microsoft needs to improve the built in features that they themselves used as a selling point for WP. Windows Phone already has built in Facebook chat with out the need for an app. How about the improve the functionality of that to match what Facebook offers, I thought this was the whole point of the messaging hub

Yes! About bloody time.

Hopefully they can release a decent working Facebook app too. The current one, and the Beta are junk compared to the big two OS.

I don't know why Microsoft just doesn't update the message hub app to allow for group messaging, stickers and pictures. Seems like it would be much easier.

Perhaps Facebook said no? Better to let them do the work if they're willing to support the platform. Also I think in general Microsoft has abandoned the hub concept and gone with individual apps that are easier to update, such as XBox Music and Video.

I never liked Skype for messaging! Whatsapp was working fine, until yesterday, so I think it's time to search for another messaging app, I like LINE better than Skype, and even if FB messenger is well adopted, some friends always complain about don't getting any kind of notifications in WP.

This is bit confusing! - "We've been working with Facebook testing out their implementation for a while. It's looking good and we will have it for our customers soon."

Does It means Facebook is bringing the App this time or this is also by MS like their Facebook app???

salmanmansuri said,
This is bit confusing! - "We've been working with Facebook testing out their implementation for a while. It's looking good and we will have it for our customers soon."

Does It means Facebook is bringing the App this time or this is also by MS like their Facebook app???

Well, it says "testing out THEIR implementation", so it sounds like FB made it at this point.

Other articles have stated its a collaboration. Microsoft have probably given some dev resource, as they need this for WP 8.1 which drops the integrated facebook messaging as part of the message hub - but it also means they won't be using the normal 3rd party API to get messages so the whole thing should be more stable and reliable

DomZ said,
Other articles have stated its a collaboration. Microsoft have probably given some dev resource, as they need this for WP 8.1 which drops the integrated facebook messaging as part of the message hub - but it also means they won't be using the normal 3rd party API to get messages so the whole thing should be more stable and reliable

That's probably the case, FB wanted the OS level integration to lessen in order to support WP directly instead of MS doing all the work I bet. I don't mind really, as good of an idea as the hubs are they never were used much or expanded on like one would've expected. And people are just used to an app centric world now, can't change it.

ummm... FB messenger is already built into the regular WP8 messengercluck the two arrows at thebottom to switch between sending SMS or FB message after setting yourself as anything but offilne on FB.

HawkMan said,
ummm... FB messenger is already built into the regular WP8 messengercluck the two arrows at thebottom to switch between sending SMS or FB message after setting yourself as anything but offilne on FB.

group chat doesn't work there, chat heads and pictures don't work, and it increases battery use. No thanks, I'll leave that one offline.

Sicarius123 said,

group chat doesn't work there, chat heads and pictures don't work, and it increases battery use. No thanks, I'll leave that one offline.

Lol having a messenger app will use battery too.. derp.

The fact of the matter, all Microsoft needs to do is update the message hub app to allow for this functionality... not create a whole new app. I like using the Facebook chat on the messenger hub greatly compared to using the app, they just need to add group messaging and maybe pictures and stickers for those that use that crap.

[quoute]all Microsoft needs to do is update the message hub[/quote]

This is part of the problem. Having it baked into the OS means you have to wait for firmware updates to update anything. Also - the message hub integration is made by Microsoft, this new app is made by Facebook, who understandably want to mirror their strategy that they have on the other mobile platforms and not have their services hidden away in the OS.

All in all this will mean a better experience as the experience is controlled by Facebook (better notifications for a start), more agile updates and hopefully feature parity with Android/iOS

They can update the messenger without firmware updates. They don't even need a major OS update(on that note I think you're confuing firmware update and OS update)

Facebook on Skype is terrible. In my experiences, lagged notifications, friends going offline randomly, and most importantly, you can't message offline contacts.

M_Lyons10 said,
How is this different from messaging people through the Facebook App?

stickers, maybe chat heads, and most importantly goddamn notifications that work!

If you're a heavy messages user, it's handy to have a separate app that takes you directly to the app. I definitely find the overall experience a lot faster than loading the entire app just to go to Messages.

Crikey - didn't realise this wasn't already out for WP8?!

Hopefully FB will hurry up and roll it out for the iPad too.

No idea what has happened to the supposed Facebook Messenger for iPad. It was meant to be in testing a year or so ago, then nothing ever came of it.

You guys really need to do some fact-checking before you jump to conclusions

Windows Phone has included Facebook Messenger support since day-one. You sign into your Facebook account and Facebook messages appear in the messaging hup right along-side text messages.

I'm trying to figure out why they bothered making a separate app at all. The built-in functionality already does everything the app will.

@theyarecomingforyou You sir are so wrong...windows phone as it is right now has built-in FB Messenger...MS is moving away from this type of integration hence the app.

yardmanflex said,
@theyarecomingforyou You sir are so wrong...windows phone as it is right now has built-in FB Messenger...MS is moving away from this type of integration hence the app.

How so? According to the article the Facebook Messenger app will be added to the store in the coming weeks, meaning it's not there currently. That's not to say that similar functionality doesn't already exist elsewhere in Windows Phone, just that currently the Windows Phone platforms lacks the Facebook Messenger app that other platforms takes for granted.

-Windows Phone currently has facebook message integration baked directly into the OS, and they show up alongside your text messages. However it can sometimes be unreliable, and lacks features such as stickers and group chats

- The current facebook app (made by Microsoft) supports those features, but is wrapped inside the big clunky facebook app.

- WP 8.1 is removing the integrated facebook messages (as its a lot harder to update as its part of the OS) and is moving it into a standlone app to mirror iOS and Android

DomZ said,
-Windows Phone currently has facebook message integration baked directly into the OS, and they show up alongside your text messages. However it can sometimes be unreliable, and lacks features such as stickers and group chats

- The current facebook app (made by Microsoft) supports those features, but is wrapped inside the big clunky facebook app.

Exactly, which is why Windows Phone isn't seen as an equal to iOS or Android. This isn't the only example of a major app that has been missing from Windows Phone.