Facebook Launches New Messenger Desktop Apps Amid Surge in Usage

Facebook says homebound users are flocking to its messaging services, but those services aren't yet well-monetized.
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Shortly after reporting a surge in usage across its messaging products, Facebook  (FB) - Get Report has rolled out desktop apps for Messenger.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the move in a Facebook post, writing that he hopes the new native apps will make Messenger "a whole lot better." 

Facebook shares were roughly flat on Thursday at $159.75.

The company told investors last week that it has seen a spike in engagement across its messaging products, including Messenger and WhatsApp, as well as group video calls, Instagram and Facebook Live. Total messaging increased by 50% in countries hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook said. 

But it also cautioned that its first-quarter revenue has been "adversely affected" by the pandemic, telling investors that widespread business closures have weakened its advertising revenue. Twitter  (TWTR) - Get Report issued a similar warning regarding its ad revenue in the same week. 

Facebook doesn't yet monetize some of the messaging products seeing a spike in usage, despite emerging efforts around payments and commerce within those products. 

Millions of newly homebound people are flooding various video calling services, such as Zoom Video  (ZM) - Get Report, Apple's  (AAPL) - Get Report FaceTime, Alphabet's  (GOOGL) - Get Report Hangouts and others, both for work and social purposes.