Following initial launch in France last month, the desktop app for Facebook’s Messenger service continues its staggered rollout with immediate availability in the Mac App Store in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and a bunch of other markets.
Messenger for Mac is the counterpart of its iPhone and iPad version.
It’s got the same features like its iOS version, including the exchange functions, notifications which integrate into the system and Dark Mode support with automatic interface change depending on the system-wide setting. For those wondering, the Mac edition also supports high-quality voice and video chat that Facebook claims was “built specifically for desktop”.
According to Facebook:
Now more than ever, people are using technology to stay in touch with the people they care about, even when physically apart. Over the past month, we saw more than a hundred percent increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger. Now with apps for macOS and Windows, the best of Messenger is coming to desktop, including unlimited and free group video calls.
The promotional video is embedded right ahead.
Here are the key highlights of Messenger for Mac:
- Group video calls on a larger screen. Stay in touch with family and friends, join a workout, or host a virtual happy hour.
- Easy to connect. You don’t need to know someone’s email or phone number since all your Facebook friends have Messenger.
- Multitasking. Your chats are easily accessible, and you can pop in and out of the app while doing other things on your computer.
- Notifications. You can receive notifications for new messages, so you can quickly find the chat you’re looking for. But you’re in control — you can choose to mute and snooze notifications.
- Chats sync across mobile and desktop. You’ll never miss a call or message no matter what device you’re using.
- Dark Mode and GIFs. Everything you love about Messenger, on a bigger screen.
For better or worse, Facebook opted against using Apple’s Catalyst system to bring the iPad version of Messenger over to the Mac.
I say “for better or worse” because they used Electron to develop the Mac edition of Messenger, and Electron is notorious for resource consumption and incompatibility with many of the features that native macOS apps gain “for free”, like spell-checker, autocorrect and more.
On the other hand, Electron is a cross-platform framework which means that the macOS messaging software from Facebook works from macOS 10.10 and not from Catalina only.