The announcement was made during the company's fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday.
"You should also expect us to start building a few of these other things that we will focus on over time and develop into meaningful things like Messenger and Instagram are today," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
Facebook launched the Messenger app in 2011 and rolled out some - big updates - in the last quarter of 2013.
On the call, Facebook CFO David Ebersman said that Messenger's users grew 70 percent in the three-month period.
"We've taken it out of the main app so it gets room to breathe," Zuckerberg said of the reason for turning Messenger into a standalone app.
He noted there was room for "a lot" of different utilities in the future, and offered Facebook Groups as one possibility.
"We now have more than half a billion people using groups every month," he added.
"It was sort of seen as a feature of the Facebook app rather than its own product."
Facebook on Wednesday also reported its Q4 earnings, citing strong growth in its mobile ad revenue, which now accounts for more than half of all its advertising revenue.
The social networking giant also reported it now has 1.23 billion monthly users, with 945 million accessing the service on a smartphone or tablet.
Roughly 61.5 percent of Facebook's 1.23 billion monthly users visited the site every day in the fourth quarter, an increase from the 58.3 percent ration in the fourth quarter of 2012.
(Written with agency inputs)