Facebook appears to be working on a Messenger client for OS X, but does anybody really want it? Or is Facebook just wasting its time and development resources?
Eye on Apple
By Jim Lynch, CIO
Facebook seems to be everywhere these days, but strangely enough it has never had much of an app presence on the Mac desktop. But that might be changing very soon since a report from TechCrunch seems to indicate that Facebook is quietly working on a Messenger client for the Mac.
TechCrunch has obtained photographic evidence and an eyewitness report that Facebook has built an as-yet-unreleased Facebook Messenger For Mac desktop app. The photo below shows a Facebook employee using it.
Releasing an official Facebook Messenger For Mac app could make it easy for people to chat whenever they’re on their computer. Instead of getting buried in one of many web browser tabs that users have to switch to so they can text friends, the dedicated Messenger desktop app would be instantly accessible from the Dock.
Facebook declined to provide a statement or confirmation, telling me “We don’t comment on rumor or speculation.” However, that’s the same boiler plate response I’ve received from Facebook when my sources were correct in the past, like about Facebook having built a secret Chat SDK that lets developers create chat bots.
The more people that chat on Facebook, the more they get locked into the company’s family of apps and features, including Facebook’s News Feed where it earns money on ads.
While this news will no doubt please many of the Facebook faithful, I’m forced to give it nothing more than a yawn. I got rid of all of my social media accounts, including Facebook. And a Mac Messenger client certainly isn’t enough to get me to reconsider. I’ve had quite enough of Facebook and the rest of the social media junk out there.
I also wonder how many Mac users will bother to install a Messenger client when they can simply use the Facebook site in Safari? I’m not sure what a Messenger app for OS X really brings to the table beyond being yet another application for users to install and manage on their Macs.
Why give up the privacy of Apple’s Messages app for Facebook Messenger?
I suppose that Messenger for the Mac could be a way of Facebook trying to steal users away from Apple’s own Messages app. But if that’s Facebook’s goal, I think they will be sorely disappointed. I can’t imagine many Mac users will dump Messages in favor of Facebook Messenger.
Think about it for a second. Communications in Apple’s Messages app are encrypted and private. But in Facebook Messenger? Everything you say will be recorded on Facebook’s servers. You would have no privacy whatsoever.
Who in their right mind would give up the private communications provided by Apple’s messaging app in favor of being spied on by Facebook?
Some Mac users might like Facebook Messenger for OS X, but I’ll pass
But take what I say with a grain of salt since I’m clearly a social media luddite. It’s entirely possible that a Messenger app for OS X would be appreciated by many Facebook users that own Macs, and more power to them if it makes them happy.
But Facebook as a whole leaves me cold. You couldn’t pay me enough to waste my time sifting through the trash posted on that service, or dealing with Facebook’s spying and manipulation.
So I’ll take a pass on Messenger for the Mac entirely, along with the rest of Facebook.
Did you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.