The Onion Router Project has debuted its Tor Messenger beta, ideal for those who are in search for an IM tool build with privacy in mind as it allows users to chat securely on popular messaging services.

The beta version of this newest chat tool, aimed to boost the security of online messaging, is the end result of the developer's work for around two years, and follows the previously released alpha version of the tool way back in February.

"Tor Messenger builds on the networks you are familiar with, so that you can continue communicating in a way your contacts are willing and able to do," boasts Tor Project over a blog post shared on its website.

The chat tool provides support to renowned messaging apps, which include Google Talk, Jabber, Twitter, Yahoo and Facebook.

It is worth noting that the Tor Messenger is based on the Mozilla instant messaging client Instantbird.

After considering several messaging clients, including Pidgin and Adam Langley's xmpp-client, the team behind this chat tool ended up opting for Instandbird as the "pragmatic choice."

Among Instantbird's capabilities, which made the developers of the project believe it is a right choice, include its ability to support a number of natural languages and a vibrant and active software developer community.

Alongside its capacity to allow for off-the-record (OTR) messaging, this chat tool comes equipped with an easy-to-use user interface in a wide variety of languages, of course.

Since users are communicating over Tor network, their location is hidden, as Tor Messenger rocks the power to hide the users' route to the server, permitting Facebook users, for instance, to communicate with their friends even in countries where the service is blocked.

To start using the beta version, users should head over to the developer's site and download the Linux (32-bit and 64-bit), Windows or OS X versions.

In the meantime, the team promises it will continually fix a slew of bugs that may crop up along the way and will roll out updates as appropriate.

Furthermore, it encourages participants in its beta version to relay their feedback, make requests and file bugs.

"At the end of the day, some people really do need privacy and security so this would be important to them," said Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, referring to the chat tool.

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