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Update: Facebook has made the download link available in the Help Center.

Facebook is busy perfecting a Messenger desktop application for Windows that compacts the best of Facebook — chat, ticker and notifications — into an always-accessible, dock-able miniature window. The social network may not be ready to officially show Messenger for Windows to the world, but don’t let that stop you from getting it now.

The trial application was initially released to a small group of Facebook users in late November. The folks at TechIT, however, have leaked the download link, which means Messenger for Windows is available to anyone running Windows 7.

“We are continuing to make Facebook Messenger easily accessible across platforms,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat. “Messenger is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and we’re testing Messenger for Windows, a new desktop application.”

So what does it do? The desktop client lets you use Facebook while browsing the rest of the web without needing to be on Facebook.com. It’s far more sophisticated than the mobile app versions for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry that focus specifically on Facebook chat.

Messenger for Windows supports chat, of course, but also includes ticker updates and a mini blue Facebook bar for the same real-time notifications you see on the site.

The application is, by default, undocked, which means you can drag it and move it about your screen. You can also optionally click the dock icon, located in the bottom-right corner, to affix the app to the right side of your screen.

Messenger is noticeably missing group chat and video calls, but a help center entry hints that these features may be on their way.

The social network is clearly experimenting with ways to encourage perpetual Facebook usage. There are, of course, several third-party applications that offer off-Facebook social networking activities — especially Facebook chat — but the company seems best positioned to build an application for mainstream adoption.

via The Verge


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