Facebook just launched its mobile instant messaging service in attempts to become a viable alternative to a number of similar products. This launch has been subject to the United States with the outlook of expanding in the near future. Its new service, Facebook Messenger provides its users with the ability to hold text conversations anywhere in addition to adding locations and multiple people to a group chat. Other competition includes the BlackBerry Messenger, Google+’s mobile app and the pending Apple iOS 5 iMessage.
So how does Facebook’s messaging service compare?
Currently, the most notable competitor is the BlackBerry Messenger where users of BlackBerry devices can send free text messages, photos, status updates and availability posts to other BlackBerry users anywhere, including internationally.
Google+ allows messages that can begin on a users computer account and continue within the mobile app. Like the Facebook messenger, Google+ “huddles” incorporate group chats and can be accessed anywhere.
Apple’s new iOS 5 could provide a formidable challenger to all these services once released. It includes the likes of free texting, photo, video, location and contact sharing. Users can even pick up conversations right where they left off with any of their personal iOS 5 devices. It is limited, however, on the same level as BlackBerry’s – it can only be used with other iOS 5 devices.
Each system has its pro’s and con’s but the Facebook service has advantage in its versatility amongst several mobile devices. The messaging service has already floated to the top of the “Top Free” apps in Apple’s app store and since the company has 750 million members people will undoubtedly try out the service. Whether people continue to use it, however, may depend on its accessibility, potential upgrades and competitor’s response.