Facebook has just announced that it will be releasing a new app, aptly named "Messenger." The app, clearly taking aim at Google's Huddles, aggregates texts and Facebook messages, letting you more easily reach your Facebook friends, as well as start group chats with them. The convenience comes at the cost of a separate app, Will it be worth it?
Facebook's new Messenger app is a direct result of their purchase of Beluga. The new app, like the purchased one, brings a smartphone app interface to Facebook's messages, bringing all of its functionality, including group messaging. The app also expands past other similar apps by also allowing you to message your contacts as well as Facebook friends and texting friends who don't have the app or a smartphone.
In addition to messaging, the application has built in geo-location capabilities. Totted as being a natural compliment to the group messaging component of the application, being able to see where your friends are can help when making plans. For those of you who tend to the more cautious side in regards to location tracking, you will be able to turn off the tracking.
The application is launching today, and has just shown up in the Android Market. Even if Facebook bought Beluga back in March, its hard not to draw a comparison here between Facebook Messenger, and Google+'s Huddle app. If new features and apps continue to be a result of competing social networks, then I could get on board with it. As they say, competition fosters innovation.