Product Manager Peter Deng tells “SMS has been around for 20 years, built it was for these T9 phones. We’re focused on leveraging all the capabilities of today’s devices to create a new messaging experience.” He also says these are just the start of app updates designed to make mobile conversations feel more real, as if you had body language cues and more to go by.
Unlike iMessage, which requires that read receipts be explicitly turned on by the receiver, Facebook doesn't provide a way to disable read receipts -- but the company will let users hide their location.
The updates are going mobile first, showing up first in the standalone Facebook Messenger apps, and will eventually move out to the Facebook mobile app and the web interface on Facebook.com.
Facebook Messenger for iPhone is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]