Facebook for Windows
Facebook for Windows include contact list, Ticker and chat box

Facebook has quietly released Messenger for Windows 7, letting users view their Ticker and list of online contacts in a separate desktop application.

The social network has figured that many of its users stay logged on through a browser all day, so it makes sense to offer a bespoke application that can be snapped to the side of user's desktops.

Facebook for Windows was initially a trial for a select few users, but now it is available for everyone here (direct download link), although Facebook is yet to officially announce its availability.

Incorporating the Ticker and list of contacts into one small window means that users can see what's going on in their social world at a glance and without dedicating an entire browser to the site.

The tiny application requires you to log in; you're then taken to a Facebook page explaining how Messenger for Windows works. The app requires you to stay logged in at all times, and you cannot be logged out from within the app; instead to log out you must go to Facebook.com in your browser.

It's a move that will feed the Facebook addicts with the social drugs they need, while offering the rest of us the opportunity to have a stripped-down and simple Facebook interface for when they don't care about our walls, photos and events.

Facebook for Windows offers very little functionality beyond Messenger. When hovering over or clicking on a news item in the Ticker a new browser window is opened. We'd like to see a small box open to the side, as it does on the main website's Ticker.

This also happens when notifications are clicked on and, annoyingly, if a message thread is clicked on a new browser window is opened instead of a chat window within the application.

One neat feature is a button in the bottom-right corner which snaps the application to the right-hand-side of your desktop.

Facebook for Windows is only available for Windows 7, leaving Vista users and any dinosaurs still on XP out in the cold.

Tech site ZDNet reports that Facebook may be introducing more applications for Windows in the future: "Facebook has hinted at a few upcoming features for the Windows flavour already: chatting with multiple friends, video calling, limiting chat availability, and editing settings. It's not clear if the company will be making announcements for every new version or if they will be just quietly released like this first version."