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Video calling

Messenger launches new desktop app with video calls

Video calling

Messenger launches new desktop app with video calls

Facebook has recently launched its first standalone desktop app for its messaging service, Messenger.

According to the social media giant, Messenger has seen growth of 100% for both audio and video calls from desktop browsers in the past month as people are confined to their homes to stop the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, Facebook moved quickly and responded to this increase in demand by launching an app dedicated to desktop use.

The Messenger desktop app will offer numerous benefits in comparison to using it through the main Facebook platform in a web browser. The most valuable tool at the moment would be access to free and unlimited group video calls.

With businesses having their employees working from home, and people not permitted to visit their friends and family, video calls are being increasingly used, so this feature is expected to be the main draw for new users.

Other highlights of the Messenger desktop app include chat syncing, so it is easy to switch between devices without losing any chat history and multitasking. This allows users to carry out other tasks on their device, something that cannot be done on the mobile app.

With the launch of the desktop app, Facebook now has a number of new competitors, with the main rival set to be Zoom.

In terms of pricing, Messenger is free so it beats Zoom in that department. Zoom does have a free plan, but functionality is limited. Other aspects of the app where Messenger may triumph include the number of participants in a video call. Messenger will allow unlimited participants compared to a limit of 100 on Zoom. Another area is meeting durations; Zoom currently limits group meetings to 40 minutes, whereas Messenger will have no limit.

However, Zoom still does have its advantages. Over the past three months, the number of daily Zoom users has increased significantly from 10 million to more than 200 million. One of its main draws is that it isn’t linked to a social media account and it is therefore easy for users to separate business from pleasure – something businesses allowing their employees to work from home would be glad about. Time will now tell if people will continue to use Zoom and whether it can maintain its meteoric growth as businesses move to remote working.

The Messenger desktop app is now available for both Windows and macOS and can be downloaded from the relevant app stores.

Alan Littler

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