Windows users are about to get some new Facebook apps.
The social network announced Thursday that its Facebook and Messenger apps are now available as desktop apps for PCs and tablets running Windows 10. Facebook said it would also roll out an Instagram app for Windows phones.
Targeting Windows users makes sense. Over 50 percent of desktop users have a Windows operating system, and Microsoft is making a big push to encourage its users to upgrade to Windows 10.
Facebook's Windows 8 apps were basically stripped-down versions of its mobile apps, and using them wasn't any easier than just opening Facebook.com in a browser. (While Windows 8 users can still hang on to the older Facebook apps, they're no longer able to download those apps from Facebook's website.)
The Windows 10 Facebook app, on the other hand, has all the bells and whistles that the mobile app has: Reactions, stickers and event notifications. It also comes with an in-app browser, which you can use to search the site. The new Messenger app works a lot like the mobile version and features notifications that pop up on your desktop.
Facebook bills its desktop apps as easier, more convenient alternatives to the Facebook website. And they might be, if you're jazzed about the Windows 10 interface and would prefer using a version of Facebook that includes Microsoft's "Live Tiles," which display app notifications. Windows users can now also launch the Facebook apps from the "Start Menu."
The benefits to Facebook are clear: If people must open a web browser to access the site, they're more likely to click away from Facebook to search for content elsewhere. Robust mobile and desktop applications help keep users on the company's platform.