Thanks to the just-released Facebook Messenger for Windows, you can get alerts for incoming messages even when you don’t have Facebook open in your browser—and yes, you can even view the much-maligned Facebook “ticker” on your desktop, if you wish.
The new Facebook Messenger software (visit this page and click the link that reads “one-time setup” to download) works on any PC running Windows 7. Keep in mind, though, that Messenger for Windows is still in “trial” mode—and no, there’s no version for Mac users yet.
Related: Facebook Messenger app for iPhone, Android: Instant group chat, plus a dash of GPS
Once you’ve installed Messenger on your system (you’ll have to give Internet Explorer permission to keep you logged into Facebook, by the way), a sidebar will appear on your desktop with the familiar, real-time Facebook ticker and chat icons, along with a small search box at the bottom.
Whenever it’s running (and indeed, it’ll keep running in the background until you manually turn it off), Messenger will bubble up little alerts whenever someone, say, likes one of your posts or tries to send you a Facebook chat request.
And yes, the Facebook ticker—which gives you a running commentary on every last thing your pals are up to on Facebook—will be humming away, too. If you absolutely, positively can’t stand the ticker, though, good news: you can hide it completely by grabbing the separator between the ticket and the chat icons and pulling it all the way up.
What’s missing from the Facebook Messenger destkop app—well, besides a Mac version, anyway? Well, group chat sessions, for starters, meaning you won’t be able to have a party chat with two or more fellow Facebook pals in a single chat window.
Also missing in action: video chat, as well as the ability to mark yourself as “available for chat” or to block members of specific Friend Lists from messaging you. (You can change the latter two settings on the web; just click the little gear icon at the bottom of the Facebook chat sidebar.)
Don’t want Messenger running in the background anymore? Just right-click its icon in the Windows task bar and select Exit to quit the program, or “Log out” to completely log your account out of Facebook.
So, what you you think: like the idea of adding Facebook chat and the ever-present “ticker” to your desktop, or would you just as soon relegate your Facebook activity to smartphones and the web?