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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Facebook Messenger for Windows rolls out, with browser-free chat

Facebook is going public today with the latest product developed by its Seattle engineering team — Facebook Messenger for Windows.

fbmessenger.jpg

It’s a standalone application that lets users send and receive Facebook messages and chat, without having to run Facebook in a browser.

The app has been in testing for several months and is rolling out gradually to users globally over the next few weeks, the company said in its announcement.

The desktop app also displays notifications about activity such as comments and photo tags.

The engineer who developed the app was Vijaye Raji, who left Microsoft to join Facebook in early 2011. Here’s a profile of Raji that Facebook shared in January.

raji.jpg

Messaging is one specialty of Facebook’s Seattle office, which also developed the site’s video-calling app. The office also built Facebook’s iPad app, a company spokesman noted via email.

The office, which opened in August 2010 and recently moved to the eastern edge of downtown Seattle, now has more than 60 engineers.

Facebook is “busy working on Messenger for Mac,” the company said in a blog post.

Another screenshot of the app:

fbmessenger2.jpg

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