Facebook unveiled Facebook Home for Android last week, as I’m sure you recall. There was a lot of press about: the product, what it means for Facebook’s mobile strategy, the Eminem song Facebook used in a video for it, etc.
One of the key features of Facebook Home is something called “Chat Heads”. These are images of your friends that appear on your device when you get a Facebook message (or text message) from them. They come up regardless of what app you’re currently using. They infiltrate the greater Android experience to inform you that your Facebook friend has something to tell you, regardless of whether or not you’re currently using Facebook (and assuming the standard notification wasn’t enough).
But Facebook Home is only available for a handful of devices. Lots of Android devices have access to the Facebook Messenger app, however. In fact, lots of Android device-owning Facebook users already have the app installed. That app just got updated, and guess what’s listed in the “What’s New” section:
– Keep chatting even when you’re using other apps. Just tap the chat head to reply, drag down to close.
– Bug fixes.
Sure enough, it works just like that aspect of Facebook Home. You know don’t have to have Facebook Home to have your friends’ messages intrude on whatever you’re doing on your device. Now, you can just have Facebook Messenger, and enjoy the same effect.
Well played, Facebook.