Facebook today launched Facebook Messenger on the web. If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is: While Messenger is already available on the company’s main facebook.com website as Facebook Chat, the company is now offering a standalone app over at messenger.com.
In other words, Facebook wants a standalone Facebook Messenger browser experience (with desktop notifications) that is completely separate from the rest of the social network. Like the mobile version, the web app is meant to provide a way to chat with other Facebook users without the distractions of unrelated notifications, the News Feed, Timelines, Pages, photos, videos, and so on.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has experimented with desktop apps: The company launched a standalone Messenger app for Windows in March 2012 and a Messenger app for Firefox in December 2012. Both were discontinued in March 2014.