Facebook is all set to introduce a new feature on its Messenger app that will enable its users to make a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls to several members (50 to be precise) right from within a group chat session.
There seemed some confusion over the number of members that users can hook up to at one go, which was initially pegged to be unlimited. That would have been a lofty number considering the over 900 million user base of Facebook Messenger though the company later revised that figure to just 12; only to revise it one more time to a bit more acceptable 50.
The entire process is also mighty simple considering that all that the user need to do is tap on the Phone icon followed by selecting the members of the group chat that the user needs to reach out to. That is all as the Messenger next will be dialling them up all simultaneously. Users will also get to see whom all have joined the call and can ping again anyone who are yet to respond. As for those at the receiving end, if they have missed the initial ping but find the chat to be still in progress can tap on the phone icon to join the call.
Group video calling isn’t yet supported though that logically makes for the next frontier for the Facebook Messenger team to conquer. However, it is the whole issue of video stabilization or the lack of it that seems to be holding things off here at the moment, as Messenger’s head of product Stan Chudnovsky revealed to TechCrunch.
Facebook though stated the above feature will only be available on the latest Messenger app for the iOS and Android platforms with Windows getting a miss. That could just be temporary since Facebook has already committed itself to developing apps for the UWP. The apps are still being fine-tuned, and it could just be a matter of time before Windows Phone users get to make VoIP calls via the Messenger app too.
Interestingly, Messenger’s move to adopt VoIP call feature can prove to be one that shapes up to rival Skype in the long run. Microsoft does have that to be worried about in the due course of time as it hopes for Facebook to launch VoIP feature for Windows Phone users.