It was recently announced that Facebook’s Messenger app will now allow users to view the people they are chatting to in real time.
In a move that could see the social network going up against the likes of FaceTime and Skype, the video calls feature is currently available to owners of Android and Apple devices. The users can reportedly contact each other even if one is using an iPhone and the other an Android.
While in an open conversation with another Messenger member, the app will display a small video icon in the top right corner of the chat window. Upon clicking this, live video streaming can be initiated between the two parties.
This new development follows on from the news that Facebook will be making a number of updates to its standalone app. This includes Businesses on Messenger, which has been designed to help companies in their internet marketing efforts. As such, the live-video tool may possibly see some commercial integration, such as by allowing consumers to speak face to face with customer service agents. In fact, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced in a speech in March that the app would be designed with e-commerce and video in mind.
Around 600 million people are said to make use of Messenger each month, with the new feature being viewed as a way for the standalone app to retain users. By offering a broader customer experience through the Facebook product, people would possibly be less inclined to head elsewhere for their other social needs.