Facebook's best-kept secret is a second website that's amazing for talking to your friends

Everyone and their grandmother knows all about Facebook. You can’t not. The social network has more than a billion daily users across the globe.

It’s an essential part of modern life.

Less well known is that as well as Facebook.com, the California tech company has a second, stripped-down website you can use to talk to your friends.

And if that’s all you want to do, it’s a whole lot better than the original Facebook.

Take a look …

First, let's look at Facebook's main website. It has a huge amount of functionality, with photos, groups, news, statuses, and so on.

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But what if you want to just message a friend? That's relegated to about a quarter of the screen. The rest is just irrelevant annoyances.

Luckily for you, Facebook has a little-known alternative.

Fire up your web browser, and load Messenger.com.

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You're greeted with an incredibly clean interface. You get to chat with your friends -- and nothing else.

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At the same time, it has a lot of useful features.

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In plain white, it doesn't even look like Facebook — which could be a godsend in offices where the social network is banned.

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And if you're sitting at your desk, it's so much easier to use than any messaging app on your smartphone.

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It's very similar to the mobile Facebook Messenger app, adapted for desktop web browsers.

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Facebook launched Messenger.com back in April. But almost no one seems to know it exists.

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA via Getty Images

I conducted an (admittedly unscientific) poll of my coworkers. None of them -- including other tech journalists -- knew it was a thing.

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The site gets only about 70 million visits a month, according to Similar Web -- a fraction of the overall Facebook audience.

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Head over to Messenger.com now to give it a try, and enjoy sending messages to your Facebook friends without any of the social network's clutter.

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