The sheer number of ways one can contact someone else is rather high if you think about it. Almost every single social media app has its own form of messaging service from Facebook to Snapchat to Instagram. Adding to this, Facebook Messenger has a feature that could possibly make even the most hardcore skeptics take note and use it: group video calling.
Yes! that’s right. Facebook Messenger now has video calling for groups. Available for anyone with the latest version of the app, the new update also brings the Snapchat-esque animated masks that Facebook has been experimenting with on the iOS version of Messenger. Android users will get the feature “soon”, they say.
Image taken from http://www.wsj.com
To start a group video call, all one needs to do is start a regular one-to-one video call from the app. From there, just tap the camera icon in the top right corner while in a chat and you will initiate a video call. According to Facebook, 245 million people are already making video calls with Messenger every month. That’s a lot of video calls.
For now, Facebook has limited the number of participants who can be in a group video call to 6. An additional 50 other participants can join via audio-only chat. So if you want to have a larger group video call, the winner still remains to be Skype. With many people having a love-hate relationship with Messenger (they love that the hate it), the app does provide a greater use in terms of video calls compared to apps such as WhatsApp which recently added video calling functionality but is still limited to a one-to-one video call.
Overall, this new addition to Facebook Messenger does make it look like Facebook is trying to be a competitor for Microsoft’s Skype client with regard to group video calls/chats. Group video calls are not the end goal though. There’s more: Facebook has also announced that they would be adding support for 3D masks on video chat users for Android users, a feature already found in Facebook Messenger’s iOS client.
Do you use Facebook Messenger for video calls? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comment section below.