Facebook Messenger group call is now a reality on the Messenger app. With this new feature, which was introduced yesterday, one can now have a voice conversation with up to 50 people simultaneously. I see conference call lovers rubbing their hands in glee.
To tell the truth, I am not a fan of apps like Facebook Messenger mostly because they task my RAM unnecessarily. They tend to heat-up my smartphone and run continuously in the background even after I’d ‘kill’ them. As a matter of fact, I uninstalled Facebook Messenger and some other apps two days ago. I just got tired of my phone heating up. But now, with these new voice calling feature, I just might be tempted to re-install Messenger.
On the other hand, lets hope the Messenger group call feature would be better than Whatsapp calls. Whatsapp calls hardly work. In theory, it should be cheaper and more convenient than ordinary calls. But for it to be successful, caller and receiver need to have strong 3G network signal. That is why a good thing like Whatsapp calls is yet to be popular in Nigeria.
“Really excited to announce the global roll out of group calling in Messenger today. From any group conversations, just tap on the phone icon to initiate a group call. You can then manage individual participants on the next screen.If you have the latest version of Messenger, you should see the phone icon appear in group conversations within the next 24 hours. Give it a try, and as always, let us know how we can make it even better for you!” was how David Marcus, Head of Messenger, announced the advent of Messenger group call.
The technology that makes this possible is Voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP). VoIP, made popular by Skype, has being around for many years. Basically, it utilizes Internet connection to make voice calls between two devices, bypassing mobile GSM infrastructure. Depending on data charges, calls are supposed to be cheaper through VoIP.
The Messenger group call feature can be very useful when you are organizing an event like a birthday bash for a dear reclusive friend. You can just call all your mutual friends through Messenger; add them one after the other and just start chatting away and organizing the party. Of course, the caveat is that all your friends must have enough data and you can link up with only those friends with Messenger app installed on their devices.
The Facebook Messenger group call feature is not revolutionary in any way. But it fits into the larger vision Facebook has for the Messenger app. This vision was unveiled at the recently concluded F8 developer conference. The introduction of the Messenger chatbots was the most ambitious plan of the numerous ideas Facebook is looking at. For Facebook, the Messenger group call feature is very important in the sense that people have one more reason to use Messenger. Ultimately, the plan is to make Messenger the only relevant app. After all, why have other apps to clutter my device if just one app can do everything I need?
Facebook Messenger group call is just one more cog in that grand vision of making Messenger an ‘omniutilty’ app: the app that can do all things.
photo credits: techcrunch.com; pc-tablet.co.in