Text messages are soon to be a thing of the past.
The new craze Facebook Messenger free app for the iPhone is really just a simplification of an iPhone feature, making it more useful for regular phone interactions. The iPhone, as well as other smart phones, are integrating social networking into the standard form of phone communication.
Previously it was though that the smart phone simply allowed access to these services and tools via apps, yet this required you to separate yourself from the basic functions of the phone. It may be relatively easy, but it is not the same as a text message or phone call. Slowly the gap is being bridged as instant messaging services like AIM can work just like text messages, Twitter will come standard on the iOS 5 update, and now Facebook Messenger to bring the Facebook messaging function to the more natural functions of the phone so that it works in a similar way to the basic text messaging.
The Facebook Messenger iPhone app is just the chat and message function of Facebook made more cleanly available to the user. Facebook recently combined the messaging and chat tools into a single, unified conversation between two parties. In the new free iPhone app you will simply jump directly into the chat display, seeing who is available and looking at the chat log of the conversation you have had with these people. This goes even further beyond this as you are able to employ the camera to send photos and even tie in your location using the iPhone’s GPS. None of this is surprising as social networking on the iPhone tends to use every single tool that they have available to them. The Location function allow it to be seen where you are, though this can be turned off as needed.
In general this is really just a very limited Facebook tool, but it isolates the chat function so that it can finally work like other instant messaging services. This is a nice addition, and is sweeping very quickly, but this is only because of Facebook’s station in the social order and not purely from the success of the app. It will continue to be useful, but only because the chat function is difficult to use in the official Facebook app. The only problem here is that it will separate the chat from the status, location, and photo updates that are also essential to the mobile Facebook experience.