Facebook is reportedly reintegrating voice and video calling into its main app
Facebook is reportedly going to be reintegrating voice and video calling into its main app, after spinning off the feature into the company’s Facebook Messenger app a number of years ago. The company mentioned that it sees upwards of 150 million calls a day on the service when it announced it will be enabling end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls, and it seems this is another move towards making them easier than ever to initiate.
The report from Bloomberg states that some users (including those in the U.S.) will be able to place voice or video calls from the Facebook app beginning on Monday. It’s just a test, but it’s to save people time from switching back and forth between Facebook and Messenger, said Connor Hayes, director of product management at Messenger. As the report also notes, the company was testing a limited version of Messenger’s inbox in the core Facebook app last year. Years and years ago users could send messages on Facebook from within the core Facebook app, but the company spun off its messaging services into Facebook Messenger and effectively forced users to download a new app.
Hayes told Bloomberg that Facebook is beginning to see Messenger as a service rather than just a stand-alone app. In other words, Messenger’s technology will be used alongside other things. Voice and video calls that use Messenger’s technology are available on Instagram, Oculus, and Portal devices. “You’re going to start to see quite a bit more of this over time,” Hayes said. He describes Messenger as the “connective tissue for people to be together when apart, regardless of which service they’re choosing to use.”
Another example of this is Facebook merging Messenger and Instagram chats on Android and iOS late last year, and the company argues that this integration is a benefit to users by reducing the need to download and switch between multiple apps. There are concerns that as Facebook gets hit with more antitrust lawsuits in the U.S. that the company is attempting to prevent its break up by intertwining its services.