Facebook launches standalone Messenger website

Does this mean IM functionality will be turned off completely in the main Facebook website?

Facebook

Facebook has launched the Messenger website, in a further move separate the instant messaging platform from the core social network.

The launch adds further weight to suggestions that Mark Zuckerberg plans to turn Messenger into more than just an instant chat platform, with monetisation opportunities via e-commerce and video media.

Facebook has said users will be able to add payment details to their Messenger account in future, presumably to allow them to gift virtual goods to friends. The new standalone website is also preparing the development platform for extensions, as Facebook plans to open up the chat platform to developers at some point. 

If you're already logged into Facebook from your browser, you can just head to messenger.com and use one click login to open up your message history, create a new message or reply to one you've just received. You are able to mute notifications if you don't want to be interrupted and there's the ability to add photos, emojis or like posts just as you can from the mobile app and within the Facebook website.

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Last year, Facebook forced all Messenger users to download the application, discontinuing the ability to read messages from the main social network app. However, a spokesperson said the company doesn't plan to completely discontinue the ability to send and receive messages via the main Facebook website.

A Facebook spokesperson said: "We're launching Messenger for web browsers a standalone web chat product accessible via Messenger.com. Once logged in, people can dive directly into a dedicated desktop messaging experience, keeping their conversations going and picking up where they left off."

Last month, the social network announced it would be launching Facebook at Work, a service aimed at organisations that would allow employees to chat and share files with other workers or even other businesses.

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