Facebook Messenger has finally released desktop apps, including Mac and Windows desktop apps, nearly nine years after launch, with the same functionality as browser versions. Facebook first announced the Messenger desktop app at the F8 conference a year ago. But given that this year’s conference was canceled due to a coronavirus and that users now clearly want desktop applications, it makes sense to release them now.
Last month, the Facebook Messenger Mac version was discovered in testing. Messenger launched a Windows app back in 2011 and has not been abandoned until now. At the moment, Facebook Messenger’s biggest drawback may be that it can handle up to eight group video call participants, while Zoom can accommodate 100 or even 500 participants. This means that Messenger has been unable to support some new use cases since the COVID-19 outbreak. It hasn’t easily shared a URL that allows others to join the call, so it’s not useful for public webinars or social events.
Screen sharing is another major missing feature that prevents certain business use cases and co-viewing albums such as mobile social. Facebook’s Workplace Chat Desktop app offers screen sharing, so it makes sense that Messenger can add this option in the future.