Facebook may be developing an official Messenger desktop app for Mac, according to TechCrunch. The technology website obtained a blurry photo that allegedly shows a Facebook employee using the Messenger client on Mac, which would be easily accessible from the OS X dock as opposed to a tab in a web browser.
Messenger for Mac appears to have a navigation tab bar in the bottom left with options matching the Messenger for iOS mobile app, including Recent, Groups, People and Settings. These menu options are reportedly not found in unofficial Messenger apps, making it more likely the app is not a third-party version.
The company's goal is likely to create a standalone Messenger experience on Mac, similar to how it released a dedicated Messenger app for iOS in August 2011. But unlike when Messenger was detached from the main Facebook app on iOS in July 2014, the web version of the chat platform may remain available alongside the desktop app.
It’s unclear but seemingly unlikely that Facebook would require users to chat via the desktop software instead of the website. We have no information about when or even if Facebook might release Messenger For Mac. The company often builds and internally tests apps that never ship. Still, this app seems like a smart move. Slack has proven people enjoy a dedicated desktop app for messaging. It could help Facebook box out competitors like Google, WeChat, Line, Kik, and KakaoTalk.
Facebook released a Messenger desktop app for Windows in March 2012, and said it was "busy working on Messenger for Mac" at the time, but the company discontinued its Windows app two years later and has yet to release a Mac app. Facebook also launched Messenger.com last April as a standalone web chat client.
Facebook often internally tests apps that never ship, so it remains unclear when or if Messenger for Mac will be released. A company spokesperson declined to "comment on rumor or speculation," but author Josh Constine said that is "the same boiler plate response" he has received about rumors proven true in the past.