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Facebook Messenger now on BlackBerry in new blow to BBM

Facebook Messenger has arrived on BlackBerry -- it's yet another rival to the popular but troubled BlackBerry Messenger.

Another BlackBerry blow: Facebook Messenger has arrived on BlackBerry, posing a serious challenge to the popular but recently troubled BlackBerry Messenger.

Facebook Messenger lets you send messages to friends and family on Facebook, regardless of what kind of phone or computer they're using. The only cost is the cost of connecting to the Internet, so if you're on Wi-Fi or have a decent data deal then, unlike text messaging, it's basically free.

The existing Facebook Messenger app for iPhone and Android also gets the new features that come with the BlackBerry version of the app. You can see who's online and ready to chat, and you can message to one person or a group.

You can add photos and even locations, handy if you're co-ordinating a bunch of people to meet up. You can see when the other person is typing, just like online instant message services like Windows Live Messenger or GChat.

All your conversations are recorded in the app, even past conversations from your computer or another device.

BlackBerry Messenger is phenomenally popular among young folks because it's so cheap and everyone uses it. But not even BBM can compete with the number of people using Facebook. And unlike BBM or Apple's iMessage, your friends don't have to have the same type of phone as you to use Facebook Messenger.

BBM only talks to other BlackBerrys, but FBM chats with anyone who has the app on their BlackBerry, iPhone, Android phone or is just looking at Facebook on their computer. And if they don't have the app you can still send them a message, which goes to their phone as a text.

BlackBerry has a lot of competition in the IM arena. As well as Apple's new iMessage, Samsung has just launched ChatOn, and then there's IM for Nokia. It's terrible timing for BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, still reeling from several days of worldwide Internet blackout

Search for Facebook Messenger in BlackBerry App World, Android Market or Apple App Store, visit fb.me/msgr or go to facebook.com/mobile/messenger and enter your phone number so Facebook can send you a link.