Media event set for September 9, launch likely ~10 days later.
Facebook Launches Standalone Messenger App for iPhone and iPad
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.The app is integrated with the Facebook messaging and chat service and all conversations are archived as part of ongoing conversations on Facebook. The app allows users to share their location and attach photos to conversations. Users aren't restricted to chatting with one friend either, group conversations are easily created as well.
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.
Facebook Messenger is a direct challenge to other messaging services like BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's forthcoming iMessage. Like those products, Facebook Messenger uses data, not text messages to communicate, which means the service isn't restricted by per-message charges or separate mobile phone charges.
Facebook Messenger is a universal app available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, free from the App Store.