Now You Can Reach Almost Anyone via Facebook Messenger

Facebook released an update to its Messenger app that allows you to reach anyone using the app whose number you have, not just your existing Facebook friends.

The update lets individuals text their contacts from within the app, rather than switching to Facebook, their phone’s SMS client, or any other chat app. For those still paying per text, it could be a real money saver. Of course, not everyone has signed up for Messenger, so it may depend how popular Messenger is with an individual’s group of friends and family whether it’s relevant.

A fresh design, more speed, swipe navigation, and icons showing who among your contacts is on Messenger and active round out the update.

The new version was released to some Android testers last month, but it is now available to iOS and all Android users.

Facebook Messenger started as a desktop chat app but the Menlo Park, Calif., company expanded it to mobile in 2011.