A new dedicated chat and messaging app, Facebook Messenger (iTunes link), has just been released for iPhone.

Separate to the existing Facebook app, Facebook Messenger enables you to more easily send messages to friends.

Messenger is a separate app, so it only takes one click to get to your messages or send a new one. Messages are delivered through notifications and texts, so your friends are more likely to get them right away.

You can use Messenger to reach all of your friends — whether they’re on Facebook or in your phone contacts. All you have to do is type the person’s name.

A clear challenger to Apple’s upcoming iMessage and the existing BlackBerry Messenger service, Facebook Messenger likewise uses data rather than SMS messages to communicate with contacts.

Facebook Messenger is available for free on the App Store, and is a universal app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

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