Facebook has introduced a standalone Messengers app for Windows and iOS desktops. This release comes at a time when more than a third of the world’s population is practising social-distancing, rendering communication through video calls and text more important than ever before.
According to The Verge, the desktop app has been a long time coming, “with strong hints that Facebook was working on an app as early as 2016“.
The App, which is available on the Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store, has the same functionality as the mobile and web applications – which means users can still keep in close contact with their family, friends and colleagues while enjoying the layout and design that they know. Facebook has also ensured that it’s latest desktop features, including dark mode, are available for users.
Facebook Vs COVID-19
The launch of the app comes shortly after Facebook said that it’s experiencing a massive spike in usage across the globe due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the social media goliath reports that, in certain countries, users have spent 70% more time on its array of platforms including Whatsapp and Instagram.
In an official post from the company, Facebook indicates the majority of this new usage is concentrated on private messaging and video calling – with this in mind, it’s no surprise that a dedicated Messenger app has made its debut.
And while it might sound great to see a rise in usage, Facebook says that it is actually really struggling because it wasn’t prepared for it.
“Our services were built to withstand spikes during events such as the Olympics or on New Year’s Eve. However, those happen infrequently, and we have plenty of time to prepare for them,” says Alex Schultz, VP of Analytics at Facebook.
“We are working to keep our apps running smoothly. As this global public health crisis advances and more people are physically separated from their communities, we expect that people will continue to rely on our services to stay connected during this time, and we hope these connections make it easier for people to stay home,” concludes Schultz.