Facebook launches standalone Messenger website

Facebook has launched a standalone website for its Messenger service, as the social network increasingly distances the platform from its core offering.

Last year, Facebook announced that messages could not be accessed or sent from its main app and that users had to download the separate Messenger app in order to communicate with their Facebook friends.

Read more: Facebook reveals Messenger Platform over at F8

However, there is no indication yet that the launch of Messenger.com will see Facebook lose its messaging functionality.

According to the Mail Online, the new website is a separate product, but users will still log in with their Facebook credentials.

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

Conversations taking place on Messenger.com take up the entire screen, unlike the native Facebook version, and users are unable to access their News Feed or other traditional Facebook features using the site.

Recently, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reiterated his goal to turn Messenger into more than just a chatting platform, with e-commerce and video projects on the way. During last month’s F8 conference, Gartner analyst Brian Blau voiced his belief that Facebook has significant plans for Messenger.

“They are trying to make Messenger a full-featured and rich media platform,” he said. “I think that they are interested in letting people know that Facebook is not a single app company, it is an app constellation.”

The recent Messenger development is further evidence that Facebook is placing great importance on the mobile messaging industry. The social media giant purchased the world’s most popular mobile communication app WhatsApp last year for approximately $19 billion.

Read more: Facebook Messenger app now offers money transfers

The launch of a Messenger web page is just one of a number of expected developments to the platform, with Facebook reportedly in talks with developers and content partners to develop apps for the service.