As Facebook just announced, it's introducing and testing an update to Messenger on Android that makes it a faster and more reliable mobile-to-mobile messaging experience. As Facebook noted, more and more people are using Facebook to connect with their friends on mobile. Facebook messaging started as a desktop chat experience; but when it comes to messaging on mobile, people want something faster and lighterweight. Therefore, starting today, Facebook is introducing a new Android client which comes with a new look. With the fresh new look, it's said that Messenger is easier to get around. Friends which also use the new messenger client are marked with a Messenger icon are also using the mobile Messenger app, and will get notified instantly about messages.
Last but not least it's said that the new Facebook Messenger can be used to message contacts, who aren't Facebook friends. All it needs is the contact's phone number to begin texting others using Messenger. Even if Facebook isn't mentioned SMS, it sounds a little bit like a SMS replacement.
As Facebook said, beginning today, it will testing this new experience with a limited number of people using Messenger for Android. There's no information how to get into this testing group or how Facebook selects its users.
UPDATE: Right after I've posted this article, I've received the Messenger update. I'm still not sure how Facebook is distributing it but since I'm part of the Android Facebook Beta, this might be the trigger.
Cheers ~ Arne