Facebook just announced the official release of its Facebook Messenger for Windows application, a desktop program for sending and receiving messages via Facebook without needing to open the social network in a web browser.

The announcement follows a preliminary release at the end of December. The final version is rolling out to users around the world over the next few weeks.

The app, which also includes the Facebook ticker and notifications, was developed in Facebook’s engineering office in Seattle.

A company representative says Facebook Messenger for Mac is in the works, as well, also to be developed in Seattle. No release date has been set.

Facebook Messenger is also available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

The company’s Seattle engineering office now has more than 60 engineers, after starting with three in August 2010. Other Facebook products developed in Seattle include Video Calling and Facebook’s iPad app.

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  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    Warning: Entering the realm of pure speculation.In reading this, I wonder what this means for Windows Live Messenger.
    Facebook and Microsoft are partnering on Skype video chat integration (http://www.geekwire.com/2011/facebook-rolls-skype-video-chat-seattle-team). And Windows Live as a separate entity seems to come to an end with Windows 8. So, I can’t help but wonder if Microsoft might strike a deal with Facebook to exit the messenger business and hand it over to Facebook in exchange for closer collaboration between the two in general.They did that with Windows Live Spaces and WordPress a couple of years ago (http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/welcome-windows-live-spaces-bloggers/).In general, there may be the beginnings of a trend for Microsoft to not build the actual online service that people use, but instead to focus on the hardcore infrastructure pieces that support other’s services. In that way, Bing and Skype actually make sense as Microsoft offerings.

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