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(Pocket-lint) - Making preparations for the launch of Facebook Home on Friday, Facebook has updated the Facebook Messenger app for Android, in the process making the Chat Heads feature available to all.

Chat Heads, despite the silly name, is an aspect of Facebook Home that we liked when we reviewed the new Android launcher from the social network.

The new feature gives you instant access to Facebook chats throughout your device, with a neat “head” sitting on the screen to update you when you have a new message. You can read messages as they come in, or tap on the head to return to your messages, rather than using the normal Android swipe-down notification method.


Initially we’d assumed that this was part of the Facebook Home integration, but seems it’s part of the Messenger app itself.

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READ: Facebook Home review: Explored from the inside

Facebook Home leverages two apps to present you with content from your Facebook world. The first is the Facebook for Android app, which supplies the photos, updates and comments, and the second is Facebook Messenger, which enables Facebook chat in SMS integration (if you enable that option in the app).

With the most recent update, anyone using Facebook Messenger will be able to use the Chat Heads feature, so for those outside the US who won’t be getting Facebook Home today, you’ll have access to one of its most useful features.

The Facebook Home app is launching today, along with the HTC First on AT&T in the US. Global rollout of the app is expect in the coming weeks.

Writing by Chris Hall.
Sections Facebook Apps