Facebook Messenger expands to BlackBerry
Facebook is extending its new Messenger service to Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry operating system, where it will compete directly with RIM's signature BlackBerry Messenger solution.
Facebook Messenger is now available for BlackBerry users.
Facebook Messenger launched in August 2011 across Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platforms. The free standalone messaging solution enables Facebook users to correspond directly with their friends via wireless device while sidestepping conventional operator SMS solutions. Consumers may message friends, groups of friends or anyone in their mobile contacts as well as map their present location, find friends and make plans on the go. Facebook Messenger also touts notifications alerting users when new messages arrive and photo attachment capabilities. Facebook adds that feature phone users can still reply to Messenger messages by confirming their mobile number.
In addition to BlackBerry functionality, the Facebook Messenger update brings new features and performance enhancements making it easier to see who is online and who is on mobile. Facebook is also adding support for 22 new languages for Android and 12 new languages for iOS.
Facebook Messenger is one of several new entries in the increasingly competitive mobile messaging space, taking on both operator SMS services and established alternatives like RIM's aforementioned BBM. Apple's new iOS 5 operating system overhaul brings with it iMessage, which lets consumers send free text messages, photos and videos among all iOS devices. In late August, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)-owned Skype acquired group messaging solutions startup GroupMe, whose application enables users to text and make conference calls with circles of friends or colleagues across multiple operating systems. And earlier this week, Samsung Electronics launched ChatON, which allows consumers to message across all major smartphone and feature phone platforms.
- read this Facebook Blog entry
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