May 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM ET
Facebook tends to be tight-lipped about its projects until it's ready to share them with the world, but early versions of what may be the Facebook Messenger for iPad app as well as a new video-chat-enabled version of the Facebook Messenger iPhone app appear to have leaked.
Thanks to what 9to5 Mac's Mark Gurman describes as a "reliable source," the tech blog's staff was able to take a look at an early beta version of Facebook Messenger for iPad and to try out a video chat feature it says will appear in an updated version of the Facebook Messenger for iPhone app.
The iPad app is apparently "basically a larger version" of its iPhone counterpart and includes "one-to-one messaging, group chatting, push notifications, the ability to see friend locations on a map, and more." Odds are that you'll like Facebook Messenger for iPad if you already enjoy Facebook Messenger for iPhone. If you don't … well, don't get your hopes up. (You can see screengrabs of this rather uninspiring iPad app over at 9to5 Mac.)
If you felt a case of deja vu when you read that Facebook's adding video chat to the Facebook Messenger for iPhone app, it's no surprise. The folks at 9to5 Mac originally discovered that some of the components required for video conferencing were hidden within the original version of the app when it came out nine months ago. And now, as Gurman explains, they've finally had a chance to try out the feature. He says it is powered by Skype and felt smooth "most of the time."
There's no official word as to when we'll be able to check out what Gurman saw firsthand, but he says that his source suggests that the apps are likely to launch "sometime this summer."
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