Aug 9th, 2011

As a direct result of purchasing Beluga, the folks at Facebook are getting set to release a standalone Facebook Messenger application. At first glance there doesn’t appear to be much different from the current messaging feature inside Facebook’s main application, but the standalone version does add group messaging and location sharing. It looks like you may also be able to send photos using this application.

To be honest, we’re confused as to why they wouldn’t bring this to their main application instead of shipping a separate package out. From how the application looks, we’re thinking this is essentially Facebook’s own BBM, which I’m sure many folks wouldn’t mind considering how popular those sorts of applications are. And it’s Facebook – everyone’s on Facebook, meaning it’d be a much more attractive option up against similar messaging clients such as LiveProfile and Kik.

Facebook says the application will be available today in the Android market. As of the time of this writing it isn’t, but we’ll be checking back and will let you guys know once it’s live. Any of you willing to download this standalone version or do you think Facebook should have just lumped it in with the current application? [Facebook Blog]

[Update]: It’s up now, folks. You could try searching for it in the Android market, but an easier way is to go here, have them send the link to your phone and get directed to the app automatically.