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Facebook brings mobile Messenger app to desktops

The world's largest social network is expanding its Messenger service, with hopes of turning it into a destination on the Web.

Facebook is increasing the capabilities of its Messenger communication service.

Facebook released a new version of its Messenger communication service, but it wasn't an update for the company's smartphone or tablet app. Instead, Facebook launched, a website making the service available for desktop and laptop computers.

The social network has been expanding its Messenger platform steadily over the past year, creating a communication service out of what began as a way to chat with friends on Facebook's website. Facebook said more than 600 million people use the app each month.

Last month, Facebook added the ability for other users to send items like music, photos and videos to each other through Messenger by integrating apps like ESPN and the Weather Channel. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and CEO, said at the time that Facebook has shifted its business to focus on mobile apps, and to build the services behind them.

This latest move could help elevate Messenger into a social network of its own, instead of being merely a way to send missives to friends and family. It also offers similar capabilities to WhatsApp, a chat service Facebook bought last year for $19 billion. A version of WhatsApp for desktop computers came out in January.