Bloomberg reports that Facebook is currently testing voice and video calling to its main Facebook app. These features are part of the standalone Messenger App, which Facebook first spun out from its main app in 2011 and was officially removed in 2014.
Facebook’s Messenger products include voice and video calling. Although the company has not yet revealed if it plans on bringing back other Messenger features, Messenger’s director for product management told Bloomberg that they “will start to see quite some more of this over time.”
FACEBOOK MAY BE HARDER TO UNTANGLE IF MESSENGER FEATURES ARE INCLUDED IN EVERYTHING
Facebook informed the Verge that voice and video calls are being tested in several countries, including the US. The company also did not reveal how many users would see these features or the implications for standalone Messenger apps. It stated that Messenger should be used to provide full-featured messaging, audio, and video calling experiences.
It’s about as sensible as spinning off Messenger to add voice and video calls to Facebook. You indeed have one less app you can switch between when you’re using your phone or computer, but you will still need to interact with Facebook (or at least see it) along the way, something not everyone wants to do.
There’s also the risk that weaving Messenger into Facebook draws the same kinds of criticism that unifying Messenger and Instagram direct messages did. It seems like it makes a giant company like Facebook even harder to break up — which may be the point.
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has suggested Messenger could be brought back to Facebook. In 2019, the company tried to get text chats back to the main app with a dedicated Inbox and splashed “from Facebook” across Oculus and Instagram.