Facebook separated messages from the rest of its mobile app last summer, and Wednesday it did the same for laptop and desktop computers with the release of Messenger.com. Now you can access your Facebook messages on the Web without getting getting distracted by your News Feed and the rest of Facebook. It should prove a productivity boost for anyone who uses Facebook Messenger increasingly as a supplement to email or IM.
After logging into your Facebook account at Messenger.com, you’ll be greeted by a familiar interface. The design mimics that of the Messenger mobile app but uses a three-column layout. On the left is a list of your conversations along with a settings button and a button to compose a new message. The middle column shows your current or selected conversation. The person or people included in the conversation you are viewing are listed on the right with a check box to mute notifications for that conversation. In settings, you can disable all notifications and all sounds. When composing a message, you can add emoji, stickers, photos and a thumbs-up, just as you can with the Messenger mobile app.
For the Mac user who doesn’t want to tie up a browser tab for Messenger, there is the Messenger for Mac app. It’s not from Facebook but an open source project by self-proclaimed fans of Messenger. It’s just a Mac app wrapper around Facebook’s Messenger app, so the two look and act the same. One feature that would make this Mac app more useful is an option to access the app from the menu bar. Two other missing features are notifications and badges, which the developer says are in the works.