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Facebook Messenger getting a desktop app, end-to-end encryption, and more

Facebook Messenger Desktop app
Facebook Messenger Desktop app (Image credit: Facebook)

Facebook Messenger iMessage Alternative

Facebook Messenger iMessage Alternative (Image credit: Windows Central)

Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging platforms in the world, and in a now-removed blog post published ahead of its annual F8 developer conference, Facebook announced a heap of new features and changes coming to the platform later this year.

First on the list, Facebook is creating another version of the Messenger mobile app. Referred to as "Project LightSpeed", the app will be able to launch in under two seconds and weigh in at just 30MB. Unlike Messenger Lite that's designed for low-end hardware and omits some of Messenger's more high-end features, Project LightSpeed will offer the full Messenger experience but be based on "an entirely new code base." It's unclear when the app will be ready, however, as Facebook simply notes that it'll "take time to roll out."

That's not the only new Messenger app Facebook's working on, however. Also announced by the company is a Messenger desktop client for Windows and macOS. You'll be able to access all of your messages, video chat, and more in the desktop app, and according to Facebook, it'll be released at some point this year.

In addition to new apps, Facebook's also making a big push to have Messenger become more social than it is in its current form. On this note, a "Watch Together" feature is being tested that allows users to join a virtual room and watch videos with one another simultaneously. Along with that, Facebook also shared screenshots of a new Friends section that'll help you find pictures, videos, and more from your closest friends.

Last but certainly not least, Facebook is working on designing Messenger to be completely end-to-end encrypted. Although we don't have a date as to when this will be available, Facebook does note that it's "committed to making Messenger end-to-end encrypted by default."

Should you buy Facebook Portal?

  • Another Messenger app. Everybody as excited as I am? Yeah, never mind.....
  • Hopefully that desktop app will be better than the Windows Store app.
  • We can hope. However, I've been mostly satisfied with that version for some time. While it's a little buggy, it at least has all the features I use regularly on my Android phone (including built in gif responses, video calling, etc.). The only feature that I've been waiting for is dark mode (and even that was only just added to the Android version very recently, and even then, you had to unlock a silly Easter egg just to enable it.
  • I've never really had issues with the windows store fb messaging app to be honest.
  • The Windows UWP desktop app is fine for me
  • Doesn't anyone care that the "UWP" app weighs almost 300 MBs? A chat app??? 300 MBs??? Plus it eats RAM for breakfast. That MetaOS monstrosity needs to be killed. I certainly hope that FB picks up some standards when it comes to apps.
  • Please don't be a win32 or web wrapper app. I don't want to be forced to start the app to get notifications.
  • Please let the desktop client finally come into parity with the Android and iOS versions. Also, dark mode please.
  • this could be the iMessage for android. encrypted end to end, mobile and desktop.
    fb messenger is already a really good app. this could make it better. possibly.