Video Calling Now Available Through Facebook Messenger App

Following on from the pledges made at the F8 Facebook Conference last month a new feature has been added to the Facebook App to allow video calling.

This of course could have all kinds of useful applications especially if business colleagues and associates are you’re your Facebook friends. 

This App upgrade to create what is essentially a standalone, mobile communication platform highlights Facebook’s commitment to strategically transforming its social network into a suite of many different, high quality Apps.

Users of Messenger in the Facebook App can now upgrade their Messenger chat to a video call with a simple tap on the screen. This means that the feature is able to compete with attractive elements of Skype, Google Hangouts and more directly with Apple’s FaceTime.  Those who have witnessed demos of the Facebook video call feature in action have commented on the high quality and smoothness of operation.

Buzzfeed News reported in their interview recently with Stan Chubnovsky, head of product for Messenger that since audio call functionality was added to the Facebook App a year ago Facebook Messenger has taken 10% of all mobile internet calls!  Part of this wide adoption was down to Facebook insisting that users download Messenger to be able to message their friends while on their mobile. Nevertheless, this tactic appears to have worked in laying the ground works for bringing us back to Facebook for our communications and creating what could be a very useful service.

The online Facebook newsroom announced the introduction date of the revised App as 27th April on iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay. 

Business on Messenger

Although the video calling App change has many all round uses and benefits Facebook is also looking to launch ‘Business on Messenger’ soon.  Facebook explains “With Businesses on Messenger, people can have rich and personal conversations with businesses. For example, after purchasing something from a website, people can choose to receive updates in Messenger and continue their conversation with the business in the app. Once there, people will be able to receive relevant messages from the business including order confirmations and shipping status updates, and will be able to take basic actions like modifying, tracking or returning an order. People will also have the option to ask a business questions, make requests and get quick responses. This whole set of interactions and features are unified in a single, ongoing thread between the person and the business.”

The benefits of this extra dimension of communications for our businesses could therefore be the ability to further enhance customer service, improving relationship building and loyalty, and fast resolution or avoidance of customer ordering problems.

Right Direction

Facebook’s first quarter results for 2015 appear to show that Facebook’s new visions for its future are paying off.  Mobile daily active users for example were 798 million on average for March 2015, an increase of 31% year-over-year. With Facebook’s huge user base, and with more than 600 million people using Messenger every month Facebook’s video calling feature in the Messenger App looks set to catch on in a big way.