Adding features to Messenger has obviously become a big priority at Facebook, and the company just announced potentially one of the app's most important features to date. Facebook Messenger now lets you make video calls for face-to-face conversations.
"Accounting for more than 10% of all mobile VoIP calls globally, Messenger already offers people the ability to make voice calls to friends and loved ones around the world," a Facebook spokesperson tells WebProNews in an email. "Video calling will expand Messenger’s real-time communication features, enabling the 600 million+ people who use Messenger every month to reach friends from anywhere in the world – quickly, reliably, and with high quality."
"You can quickly start a video call from any conversation with just one tap," Facebook says in a blog post. "If you’re messaging with someone and realize that words just aren’t enough, you can simply choose the video icon in the top right corner of the screen and start a video call right from within an existing Messenger conversation."
The feature is only available for calls made from a mobile phone to another mobile phone across iOS and Android, at least for now. It's rolling out in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. It will hit additional regions in the coming months.
As the company notes, this is only the latest in a series of new features Facebook has been adding to Messenger. Other recent additions include the ability to send money to friends, the Messenger Platform, and Messenger for businesses. Those last two were announced at Facebook's f8 developer conference last month.
As a platform, Messenger gives developers tools to create new ways for users to communicate beyond the options Facebook provides on its own. Early example apps include those that let users communicate with GIFs and memes.
Facebook is giving businesses the ability to enable customers to connect with them via Messenger. It's unclear whether the video calling option will be available for that.
Since all of that, Facebook also launched a Messenger web app, which enables users to use Messenger from the desktop separately from the rest of Facebook. It's also unclear if video calling will eventually become available in that.
Images via Facebook