Facebook Messenger update makes it easier to know who’s where


Facebook Messenger has been around for a while now, and on Wednesday it got an update that introduces new features that could make it a more compelling competitor for other group messaging services. It also borrows a trick or two from recent Facebook web updates.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s new:

  • Typing indicators let you know when someone’s replying. This is something a lot of similar apps and services have, including iMessage which is built in to iOS 5. It can come in handy by preventing you from saying more than you need to.
  • Users that are online are now listed, as well as those who are reachable via mobile app. That should help you know if you should be expecting an immediate reply or not. People you talk to most frequently are also now displayed at the top of your contact list, just like they are in the web interface.

The update is small, but does make changes where it matters most, making Messenger more useful for actually communicating with your Facebook contacts. There’s also now a version available for BlackBerry (s RIMM), which means all the major smartphone platforms can now join the conversation. The update is available now in the App Store.

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