Forget Facebook Home? Chat Heads Come to Facebook's Android App

Credit: Joanna Stern

When we reviewed Facebook's new Home software for Android phones earlier this week, we gushed over one feature: Chat Heads. Chat Heads, which isn't the name of a talk show or comic book, is a new way of messaging. No matter what app you are in (email, maps, Yelp), when a Facebook friend sends you a message a little circle with the profile picture of your contact pops up. It will show you the first line of the message and if you tap the little circle you can then chat with that friend.

It makes messaging easier and much faster. And the good news now is that you don't have to download Facebook's immersive Home experience to get it. Facebook today updated its Messenger for Android app to include the Chat Head feature. It is available now from the Google Play Store. It should work on most if not all Android phones.

RELATED: Facebook Home and HTC First Review: A Nice Place to Visit, but Not Quite Home

Today is also the first day you can download Facebook Home for select Android phones, including the Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X. Facebook Home, as we described it in our review, takes over the front of your phone with Cover Feed, a stream of photos and updates from your Newsfeed. It buries your apps and focuses on your friends. Also starting today, the first phone to come preloaded with Home goes on sale - the HTC First. The First is available at AT&T stores starting today for $99.99 with a two-year contract.

But as we said in the review, Home is worth a try - you have nothing to lose - but if you aren't a huge Facebook fan or addict, you'll likely try it and wish Chat Heads was available as an app. Well, now it is.

Check out our Facebook Home video review to see Chat Heads in action: