Facebook Messenger app adds calls, following WhatsApp’s lead

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Meta, Facebook’s parent company, is rolling out the Calls tab to the Facebook Messenger app on Android and iOS. The move removes a page from WhatsApp’s playbook, making audio and video calls with friends and family much easier for Messenger users.

Not all Messenger users will immediately see the Calls tab in the app. But lucky users who find it will find it between the Chats and People tabs on the bottom bar of the app screen.

Meta said the decision to add calls to the Messenger app’s home screen is due to the rapid increase in audio and video calls made through another user’s chat window. He revealed that there are 40% more daily calls compared to early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home and hold meetings via video and email. sound. Messenger users worldwide make more than 300 million audio and video calls daily.

Messenger’s Calls tab is the latest in a line of other products created by Meta’s Remote Presence team, including Watch Together and AR Effects, which aim to foster deeper connections between people and their communities. . It’s more like WhatsApp in that users will be able to call friends and family at the touch of a button instead of going to their chat to initiate calls from the top right corner of the screen.

WhatsApp was born out of a need for some users to call friends and relatives in other countries without the hassle of long distance charges that would be levied by their mobile service providers if such calls were made on the app. Standard phone – provided they pay a small annual fee for the privilege. Since Meta bought WhatsApp in 2014, users no longer needed to pay an annual fee, which meant they could call anyone in the world at no additional cost.

Facebook may be losing popularity, but some people continue to use the platform and, in turn, use the Messenger app. With the Call tab making audio and video calls quickly accessible, it will be interesting to see the increased competition between Messenger and WhatsApp.

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