Facebook Messenger Introduces Free Group Calling for up to 50 People


Facebook Messenger 2016-001

In near past, Facebook has been bringing many changes to its messengers, as it clearly wants its app to beat the others in the race, and if Zuckerberg has his way, he is on the path to having Facebook Messenger replace other messenger applications.

In its latest series of additions, it has now added a free group-calling feature, with which you could add a whooping number of 50 friends. The feature would be available to users in a day’s time on both iOS and Android as stated by Messenger chief David Marcus.

Marcus also added, “Really excited to announce the global roll out of group calling in Messenger today. From any group conversations, just tap on the phone icon to initiate a group call. You can then manage individual participants on the next screen. If you have the latest version of Messenger, you should see the phone icon appear in group conversations. Give it a try, and as always, let us know how we can make it even better for you!”

Facebook already had a feature of group chats, and in the same chat, this new feature would add up a phone icon, which probably seems like there are no complications in dialing individually and then conferencing. Every individual has the option of accepting the call, ignoring it, or simply declining it. This however is not a video-calling feature, had that been the case, it would have added up more spice giving it an upper hand over many others like Google Hangouts and Skype. Messaging app user penetration is expected to exceed 68% by 2019.

As competition has it, this move from Facebook isn’t quite surprising as Line had rolled out group calling in March this year and it can have upto 200 people at a time. Similarly, WeChat had also added this feature, along with group video calling.

Facebook even announced a new API for Messenger, through which brands will be able to interact with customers through bots. “Bots can provide anything from automated subscription content like weather and traffic updates, to customized communications like receipts, shipping notifications, and live automated messages all by interacting directly with the people who want to get them”, said Facebook.

New features are put up for people to keep coming back to the app, and also too much under one roof for people to not have the need to switch on elsewhere. With the addition of group calling, Messenger is likely to become one of Facebook’s most powerful products.

Earlier in Jan of this year, Facebook had announced that Messenger has over 800 Million users, and they would introduce slew of new features to it in 2016. Looks like thing are going quite smoothly because, just last month Facebook had added another feature to messenger, which allowed users to  make payments within the app. And, yes, the payment feature is soon set to arrive in India as well.!

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