Facebook fans and users know that the social networking giant is busy splitting off its instant messaging solution, Facebook Messenger, from the core Facebook mobile app. With that continuing change in mind, you might be interested in a new update to the Facebook Messenger app for Windows Phone 8.x, which adds new features related to photos and some performance improvements.

Given the sorry state of some apps on Windows Phone, the continued improvements we see to Facebook's apps is quite welcome, though the core app remains frustratingly buggy.

According to Microsoft, the new version of Facebook Messenger for Windows Phone 8.x includes:

Faster photos. You can now take and share a photo with just one tap. Before, you had to leave the app and take a photo with a camera app.

Photo gallery. There is a new photo gallery feature built into Messenger that gives you quick access to the photos on your phone without leaving the app.

Big performance improvements. Messenger performs better "in a few areas."

Less data consumption. Messenger is caching images (like stickers) in the background more efficiently for better data consumption.

Facebook Messenger for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 is available now from the Windows Phone Store.