tl;dr Facebook’s messenger.com domain is a great distraction-free way to use Messenger.
I have all the chats.
Seriously. All of them.
Skype, Google Chat, Facebook Messenger, Slack, Slack, Slack, Whatsapp, iOS Messenger and Twitter (DMs & replies). I communicate with clients, business partners and mentors on any bunch of these channels every day. And that’s not including a handful of email accounts, trello, jira, asana and Google Doc collaborations.
Most of these are pretty passive. They don’t get in your way until someone wants to talk to you and most of the time answering one message doesn’t pull you into the dark depth vortex of endless distraction. That is all except that damned beautiful Facebook Messenger.
Chatting within Facebook on web with those little widget windows is DISTRACTING man. All too often I’d switch to the FB tab for a quick reply to a message when I’d inadvertently see something interesting in my news feed and 3 hours later I’m like – “oh crap! I was doing something.”
But Messenger is also arguably the only chat app that provides a consistent experience across all platforms, and as a result is the platform of choice for one of my closest friends with whom I speak the most frequently (and a lot of business).
Because of the productivity hit we’ve tried a bunch of different options, Slack, Whatsapp, Google Chat, but we’ve kept coming back to Messenger. And here’s why – it’s the only network I know of that is available everywhere. It’s pretty stable, has voice messages, relatively good quality voip or video messages, image & doc sharing, et al. But the environment it lives in is damned distracting.
So, my only real option was to keep on looking for a way to use messenger without the inevitable time-suck vortex of Facebook distractions.
Solution 1: Facebook.com’s full Messenger view.
My first solution, which worked quite well for me for a while, was to open Facebook in full Messenger view.
Here’s how: In Facebook.com on the web, click the messenger icon in the top bar and then the see all link. This will present you with all your chats, without any of the distracting newsfeed, however you’ll still see your notifications on your ‘world’ icon.
This was a decent enough solution, but having the notifications and other facebook chrome in view can still get distracting.
Solution 2, and my current chosen win:
Probably about 2 months ago, Facebook launched messenger.com – a webapp dedicated just to messenger, no facebook notifications, no newsfeed, just messenger. It’s like the iphone app, just bigger.
If you haven’t checked it out, yet, you can at www.messenger.com, especially if, like me, you’re looking for that productivity push, without losing access to messenger.