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Old woes affect Facebook's Messenger app

Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android

Facebook Messenger for iOS and Android Photo Credit: Handout

Facebook just announced the launch of Facebook Messenger, its own stand-alone chat app for iOS devices and Android smartphones. Here’s the lowdown on some of the features of Facebook’s official chat app.

-- Message Facebook friends or anyone in your mobile contacts
-- Create custom chat rooms for group conversations (similar to Google+ Huddle)
-- Map your exact location
-- Upload photos within the message or chat room

Unfortunately Facebook’s Messenger app runs into the same problems as its browser-based messenger. Instead of seeing which of your friends are actually online and willing to chat, the chat list is populated with random friends Facebook thinks you should chat with, ignoring who is or isn't online.

Another annoyance brought over from Facebook is that it's still impossible to block specific Facebook friends from seeing or messaging you.

But one awesome feature rumored to be in the works for Facebook Messenger is mobile video chat powered by Skype. This could be the biggest boost for Facebook. Although Google has made inroads into the social-networking space, the search giant seems to have ignored mobile video chat for mobile devices.

If Facebook’s video chat can be implemented cleanly across all mobile platforms, including iOS and the different flavors of Android (Gingerbread, Froyo, Honeycomb), and it manages to give its users more privacy flexibility, the Facebook Messenger app could be a No. 1, must-have app.

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