Facebook chat vs Messenger 2021 – key differences and similarities. What you can and can’t do on desktop vs. mobile

Facebook allows its users to privately message each other through private messaging. This applies to both individual users and business to customer conversations. However, messaging on desktop takes place on Facebook chat while on mobile it takes place on a standalone Facebook application called Messenger.

They are not the same thing – as an avid user you will quickly notice that there are certain things that you can do on the desktop that you can’t do on the mobile version of the Facebook chat – and vice versa. What are the key similarities and differences between Facebook Chat and Messenger? See below so it doesn’t take you by surprise when you’re on the go!

  1. Facebook Chat and Messenger Key Similarities
  2. Facebook Chat vs Messenger Key Differences
  3. Conclusion

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1. Facebook Chat And Messenger – Key Similarities

Facebook chat and Messenger have evolved over the years to create an ecosystem that is well integrated. In this ecosystem, there are several things you can do on both desktop and mobile versions of the Facebook chat. These include:

  1. Video and Voice Calls

Facebook chat and messenger allow users to make video and voice calls. For both desktop and mobile, you are able to initiate either video or voice calls by clicking on the buttons at the top of the chatbox.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot
  1. Group chats

On both Facebook chat and Messenger, users are able to create group chats and add more than one participant.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot
  1. Image and video sharing

Users can share videos and images within both Facebook Chat and Messenger.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot
Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

In addition, they can also share GIFs, emojis, and stickers to react to conversations.

  1. Messenger Rooms

Facebook rooms are video chats between one or more users (maximum 50 people) who are in a particular group. This is like a virtual group hangout. The feature is on Facebook Chat for desktop and Messenger for mobile. Anyone who is in your chat group can easily join the video chat within the created room for that specific group. In addition, anyone who has the link to the messenger room can click to join the video chat.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

This is slightly different from the video call feature in that, with a video call you are calling only one user at a time and no one else can join.

  1. Conversations actions

Users can mute conversations between them and other users for a few hours, allowing them to pause chats when they do not have time to attend to them.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

In addition, users can also ignore, delete or block other conversations depending on their preferred action.

These conversation actions are also available on both desktop chat and mobile.

  1. Make payments

Facebook allows you to send money to businesses or people through Facebook Chat and Messenger. It is therefore easy to pay or request payment for services received directly within the private message.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

2. Facebook Chat vs Messenger – Key Differences

We have now looked at the key features that are shared between Facebook Chat on desktop and Messenger on mobile in the previous section. In this section, we look at the key differences to understand what we can and cannot do for either platform.

  1. Sending Files

This is a major difference to remember. Facebook chat enables users to share files in various formats like PDF, Word and Excel documents.

However, on Messenger for mobile (iOS and Android), it is not possible to share the same files with other users.

  1. Messenger Stories

On Messenger, you can quickly view stories under the people section.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

On the desktop Facebook Chat, you cannot view user stories. However, the user stories on the desktop are available at the top of the newsfeed.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot
  1. Location sharing

This feature is only available on Messenger for mobile and not on Facebook chat for desktop. Instead of sharing your location through a separate app in the chat, Facebook has built a location-sharing feature within Messenger that allows your friends to follow your live location for close to an hour.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot
  1. Sync and Text Contacts

Aside from being used as a messaging app over the internet, Messenger can also be used as the main texting app for mobile. It syncs all your contacts’ phone numbers and if enabled, takes over as your main texting application.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

The Facebook Chat for desktop does not have this feature.

  1. Multi-tasking (chat heads)

The mobile app, Messenger, enables users to multitask between conversations. This is because when chatting with other users, the chat button appears as a small chat head over your mobile screen.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

You can switch from another application to the chat head as you please. You can also have more than one chat and switch between the chat heads.

  1. Audio clips (press and hold for the audio clip)

Aside from doing a voice call, the Messenger app has a feature that allows users to chat using audio clips if they are tired of typing or just prefer audio chatting. To send an audio clip, the user has to press the mic button and hold it while they speak.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

When they release the button their message is sent as an audio clip. This feature is not available on Facebook Chat.

  1. Play games

Messenger lets you launch and play games with your friends through the chat. However, you cannot play these games directly from Facebook Chat for desktop.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

You can also play games in a group chat. There is no need to install any new application in order to play games on mobile.

Fb chat vs messenger - differences and similarities screenshot

Conclusion

Now you know the similarities between Facebook chat and Messenger and what you can or cannot do on either desktop or mobile. It is important to note that Messenger is also available on the desktop via Messenger.com or by installing Messenger from Windows or Apple store as a standalone desktop application.

Something else to note is that Messenger has all the features available on Facebook Chat. However, Facebook Chat on the desktop does not have some of Messenger’s features as seen above.

You can now use Chat and Messenger understanding fully what each can and cannot do on desktop and mobile.

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