Alternative #1: Use the webpage https://www.messenger.com/.
Alternative #2: Download the unofficial Messenger for desktop app, https://messengerfordesktop.com/. This is actually the webpage in a shell. This is based on a open source project. But the page tries to push some other apps on you now, so I’m running away from this app 🙁
My recommendation, Alternative #3: Use the Windows app by Facebook, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/messenger/9wzdncrf0083.
My criteria’s and history in search for a IM-client
I hate typing on my mobile. I mostly sit on my computer or close to one, so why type on a tiny touchscreen keyboard? After Windows Live Messenger disappeared, there was a hole needed to be filled. What application to use for communication?
Go back to ICQ or IRC? No thank you.
Use Skype? I actually tested Skype a period, but finding people is hard, as most of them who doesn’t use it that much, create a new account every time, like me. There was also some problems there some of the messages didn’t got sent or received before the next day. And it’s a large window with very little focus on the chat part.
For some years ago people started using Lync… But what is actually Lync? A business Live Messenger, with some phone support… And it costs money. No thanks.
The conclusion is that we end up with the Facebook-chat…
Facebook has a very large user-database. It’s very searchable. It’s easy to find people, as they use their real/full name – and you can post video, pictures, gif, etc…
The problem up to 2016, has been the Facebook webpage-integration. I have absolutely no need to visit the Facebook page. I only want to communicate with people. Between 2012 and 2014 FB actually had a Windows client for messenger, but they closed down the project.
Now, I think the last two years has been very busy years for FB Messenger team. They have completely separated out the Facebook app and messenger on mobile (iPhone at least), created a new webpage (messenger.com) and now they also have an app that can be used in Windows. So finally, a good IM client without commercials that works great – and the best of all, you don’t need to visit the Facebook-page at all.
Why desktop-client? Why not use the web-browser?
I’m one of those people who sits with at least 50 tabs open in the browser, and filling up a whole monitor just for a little chat is a waste of space. Most of the time it’s just to type a quick answer, but finding the Messenger-tab and back to the page I was using is HARD! You can use CTRL+TAB, but still. The new HTML5 desktop notifications helps a little, but nothing is better than good native application 🙂