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This is just the latest enhancement to the app, after payments and its new platform
Facebook decision to decouple Messenger last year, forcing people to download a separate app in order to use it, has been a huge success. the app has been downloaded over 600 million times, and it has gotten a slew of new features and integrations.
Now Facebook had given us all one more reason to download the app: video calling, which it unveiled in a blog post on Monday.
"Messenger already offers people the ability to make voice calls to friends and loved ones around the world," the company wrote. "Video calling will expand Messenger’s real-time communication features, enabling the more than 600 million people who use Messenger every month to reach others wherever they are, from anywhere. It’s fast, reliable and high quality."
Here's now the new feature will work: if a user is messaging with someone and decides to start a video chat, they can choose the video icon in the top right corner of the screen and start a video call right from within an existing Messenger conversation.
Video calling in Messenger is available for calls made from a mobile phone to another mobile phone, and is cross platform: even if one person is on iOS and the other person is on an Android device.
The feature will first be available in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay, with "other regions and locales," being added "over the coming months."
This is the latest feature that Facebook has released for Messenger in the past few months.
First it announced a free in-app peer-to-peer payments feature on Messenger, which will be rolling out over the coming months in the United States. That was followed by the launch of Messenger Platform in March, which allows developers to create apps that integrate with Messenger. 40 apps were selected, including ESPN, JibJab, Imgur, and Selfied, as well as Joya's apps FlipLip and Cleo.
Facebook also announced Businesses on Messenger, which enhances communications and interactions between people and businesses.
Facebook's initial partners are Everlane and zulily, both in the retail vertical, and it is also working with Zendesk. It expects to have more partners to announce in coming weeks and months.
There is another aspect to this beyond making Messenger even more appealing: Facebook has also had major success with video on the News Feed, and it likely wants to
Since July of last year, Facebook has been seeing over one billion views every single day, with 65% of those views occurring on a mobile device. Facebook has over 1.2 billion users, and now more than half of them watch at least one video day.
Even the number of video posts per person has increased, going up 75% globally. That number is even higher, 94%, in the United States. That has amounted to the number of videos, from both users and from advertisers, increasing 3.6 times in that span.
According to a report out from Business Insider in July of last year, video ad revenue is set to grow faster than any other medium, save for mobile. They will reach nearly $5 billion in 2016, nearly doubling from $2.8 billion in 2013.
(Image source: newsroom.fb.com)
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