Mobile AppsMobility

Facebook Adds Video Calling To Messenger

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Looks to take on the likes of Skype with new addition

Facebook has set out its latest tool to dominate the messaging world with the launch of video calling for its Messenger app.

From today, mobile users will be able to call and talk to their friends and contacts using Messenger, for when typing out words just isn’t good enough.

The new service launches today across iOS and Android devices in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay, with further releases in other regions set for the coming months.

messenger-video-call1Connected

“Messenger already offers people the ability to make voice calls to friends and loved ones around the world,” Stan Chudnovsky, Facebook’s head of product for Messenger, and Param Reddy, engineering manager wrote in a blog post announcing the news.

“Video calling will expand Messenger’s real-time communication features, enabling the more than 600 million people who use Messenger every month to reach others wherever they are, from anywhere. It’s fast, reliable and high quality.”

Launching the new service seems pretty simple, too, described by Facebook as just needing one tap to get going. Users can just tap the video symbol now included at the top of a Messenger chat to start a video call, with the conversation continuing via video as soon as the other person accepts.

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of expansions for Messenger in recent months as Facebook looks to extend the possibilities of its app.

This includes the ability to send money to your contacts via Messenger simply by registering their card details, which was announced last month.

There was also the launch of Messenger for Businesses, a new service which will allow companies to interact with their customers via Facebook. The service can also help customers, allowing them to receive updates about online shopping orders and delivery times, as well as being able to ask businesses questions about products or services.

These all form part of the wider launch of Messenger as a Platform, an expansion to Messenger which Facebook hopes will expand its reach outside of the social network and on to other sites.

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