Facebook reaffirms commitment to Android with new messaging test

Summary:Starting today, Facebook is testing an update to Messenger on Android that could replace standard text messaging.

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Facebook Home might not have been as big a splash (or even the casual wave) that the social networking giant might have been banking on .

Regardless, Facebook has been pushing its mobile-first agenda for more than a year now, and the Menlo Park, Calif.-based giant has reaffirmed its particular interest in Android, demonstrated by a new mobile messaging feature.

Perhaps it's because both Facebook and Google's mobile operating system both share a common interest and foundation in open source technology. Or maybe Facebook developers are still picking apart which pieces of Home worked and which didn't.

Either way, Facebook is testing an update to Messenger on Android that could stand in place of standard text messaging, much like capabilities seen on Apple's iMessage for iOS devices as well as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

Essentially, the highlight of the software update is a mobile-to-mobile messaging experience.

Facebook users will be able to see which of their friends are using the app and be able to send messages to these users via Messenger so long as they have the recipient's phone number.

At first, that sounds like what's already available. The big deal is that Facebook users will be able to send messages to users who aren't their Facebook friends already, again if they have the recipient's phone number.

In this day and age, it might seem easier to make a Facebook friend than get a phone number for someone you don't know as well.

Nevertheless, it opens another door for making contact -- not to mention draws users further within in the Facebook web for all things communication.

Available to a limited number of users initially, the new feature is rolling out starting today.

Images via Facebook

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apps, Social Enterprise, Web development

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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