Windows Phone users had mixed reactions today when Microsoft and Facebook jointly launched Facebook Messenger for WP8 (get it here). While many veteran users of the operating system such as myself celebrated the arrival of the app, many others questioned the necessity of such an app. After all, we can just use the in built Facebook messaging, right?
Not really. Here’s why.
I was rather overjoyed when the app was released, and downloaded the app immediately. Sure, one of the great things of WP is the deep integration with social networks, and the Facebook messaging service within the default messaging app is much appreciated.
But sometimes it just doesn’t work.
For one, there have been many times when I am “unable to connect to chat”. There is a rather troublesome fix for it (which does not work all the time as well) but it is annoying nonetheless.
Also, you don’t get the full conversation on the in built messaging app. Sometimes you just receive spam messages from the opposite party even after you’ve replied to them somewhere else (say, on your computer), and sometimes the push service just doesn’t work properly.
A proper app to handle messages would be good.
But wait, don’t we have a Facebook app for that? Yes we do. But frankly, it’s pretty bad. The messaging in it painfully slow and agonizingly laggy. And all the bugs that Microsoft has to iron out in that app are just too many to count.
At least for the official Facebook messenger app, it’s a joint collaboration between Facebook and Microsoft, so you can be rest assured on the service quality and update cycle.
And another thing: you can’t have group chats on the in built messaging app. Facebook messenger, on the other hand, is a great way to do it. Plus, you get sticker support. I know it’s not a big deal, but it’s a bonus. Other things such as last seen status, seeing if the person you’re talking to is “typing…” just adds to the overall user experience.
But more importantly for Microsoft, it’s gonna improve the credibility of their OS. Just as how users from iOS and Android are appalled when they find out WP does not have an official YouTube app, they’ll similarly be appalled if they found out that it doesn’t have FB Messenger too.
So from the way I see it, Facebook Messenger is necessary for Windows Phone. And if you still think otherwise, well, here’s a thought: it’s better to just have it there in the store than to have none at all. At the very least, it’s just there so that Android and iOS users can’t use it as an excuse to diss Windows Phone.
Facebook Messenger has been pushed to the public just slightly a week after its announcement. But Flipboard was announced last year in October. So the real question is, when is Flipboard coming to Windows Phone?
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