iOS users rejoice: Download Facebook Messenger for iPad now

Like it or loathe it, Facebook has finally provided a native iPad version of its Facebook Messenger app.

A whole three years after Facebook bought Beluga and turned it into Messenger for smartphones, the social media network's dedicated chat app has now announced a version specially designed for iPad.

Messenger for iPad had boasted over 200 million users as of April across all devices, however it is hoped the ability to keep in contact with friends over a large screen will boost uptake of the multi-window interface app.

The updated version of Facebook Messenger iOS 7.0 brings universal support, meaning iPad users get a native version all of their own.

Messenger for iPad comes with most of the Messenger features, including stickers, easy group chat navigation, and VoIP calling. It's only missing the latest additions, including the split-screen selfie camera and tap-and-hold quick video recordings.

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Unfortunately, Facebook hasn't mentioned anything about an Android tablet version. Fans of the little green robot will have to carry on juggling their smartphone with their tablet if they wish to message and play mobile games at the same time.

Despite this, the update is a big leap forward in Facebook's long term goal of disrupting SMS and leading the mobile chat space. The Californian company understands that direct messaging is a key concern of the savvy-social media user, as News Feeds and profiles only offer so many privacy options.

Owning the mobile chat space would mean Facebook could influence a sizeable chunk of the social networking graph. This is one of the big reasons that Facebook splashed a whopping $19 billion to acquire WhatsApp, which had threatened Facebook with a status update feature remarkably similar to the site's feed.

Facebook Messenger 7.0 is available to download for free on iPhone and iPad from the App Store now, and we'll keep you posted whether an Android version will soon follow suit.