What you need to know
- Facebook is bringing back voice and video calling features to its main app.
- The features are now rolling out to some users as part of a test.
- Video and voice calling features were removed from the main Facebook app in 2014.
Nearly seven years after disabling messaging features in its main app, Facebook has started a new test that brings back some of those features. According to Bloomberg, some users in the U.S. and a few other countries can now place voice or video calls directly from the main Facebook app on iOS and the best Android phones.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed the test to Android Central and said that users should continue using Messenger for a full-featured messaging, audio, and video call experience.
While the company hasn't revealed if it plans to bring back more Messenger features to its main app, Facebook's director of product management at Messenger told Bloomberg that "you're going to start to see quite a bit more of this over time."
The test seems to confirm that Facebook no longer thinks of Messenger as a standalone app. It now considers Messenger to be a service. Facebook already offers voice and video calls using Messenger technology on Instagram, Oculus, as well as Portal devices.
This isn't the first time that Facebook has started testing a Messenger feature in its core app. Last fall, it began testing a limited version of Messenger's inbox. Facebook also unified direct messages in Messenger and Instagram in September and plans to expand the capability to WhatsApp as well in the near future. The social networking giant believes that integrating all its messaging services will benefit users as it will "reduce the need to jump between different apps."
However, the way Facebook is beginning to intertwine its services could make it nearly impossible to break up the company. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook that seeks to force the company into spinning off Instagram and WhatsApp.
The only Facebook app I have installed is messenger. I was a bit confused at first because of my own cognitive bias about the 'main' Facebook app lol.
Oooh, can they put sending money back into the main app too? I mean, as long as they're adding things I never use and don't care about... Also, if you could quit popping up notifications that I received a chat message on the device that doesn't have Messenger installed, that would be awesome. I uninstalled it specifically because I didn't want that device blowing up.
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