Mark Zuckerberg’s platform is in the testing phase with the goal of adding voice and video calls to the main Facebook application, as reported by Bloomberg.
The features are currently part of the standalone Messenger app, which Facebook originally built from its big blue flagship app in 2011 and was officially removed in 2014.
Voice and video calling are two of the many Messenger features that Facebook has introduced in its other products, such as Portal video cameras and Oculus virtual reality headsets. The company hasn’t said if it plans to bring other parts of Messenger back into the group, but Messenger’s director of product management told Bloomberg that “you’ll start to see a little more of this in time.”
Facebook confirmed to The Verge that it is testing voice and video calls in “several countries, including the US”. The company hasn’t said how many users will see the features or what that means for the standalone Messenger app in the future, except “for a full-featured messaging, audio and video calling experience, people should continue to use Messenger.”
Adding voice and video calls to the Facebook app makes as much sense as turning off Messenger in the first place. Yes, that means there’s one less app to toggle while you’re doing other things on your computer or phone, but it also means you’ll have to interact with (or at least see) Facebook on the way.
There’s also a risk that embedding Messenger on Facebook will attract the same kind of criticism as the unification of Messenger and Instagram direct messages. It seems that makes a giant company like Facebook even harder to break – which may be the point.
This isn’t the first suggestion that Facebook was considering putting Messenger back on Facebook. In 2019, the company tested bringing text chats back to the main app with a dedicated inbox and posted “Facebook” on Oculus, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Source: The Verge