Continuing with its mission to make Messenger a one-stop communication app for literally almost everything on smartphones, Facebook has added another feature to Messenger- group voice calling. So now if you become tired of typing in a group chat, you can just head over the Phone icon, and start a voice call with the group members.
Announcing the new feature through a Facebook post, Messenger head David Marcus wrote,
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.
You can also select the participants for the audio call conference through this screen. One can have a maximum of 50 participants in a group audio call.
The selected users will simultaneously get an audio call through Messenger with which they can join the conversation. Any individual also has the choice to not to participate in the group audio call and can simply ignore or decline the call.
If one misses the call due to some reason, he/she can join the conversation any time as long as it is still going on. Other participants have the option to ping the user who has not joined the conversation yet.
Facebook had first introduced one to one VoIP audio calls in 2013 and later rolled out the feature globally in 2014. However, it was not the first service to do so at that time nor it is this time. Other messenger platforms such as Line and WeChat have already introduced group voice calling feature in March and September last year respectively.
Given the fact that Messenger has already croosed 900 million monthly active users, Facebook has been aggressively adding new features to the platform to allow its users to do everything in additon to chatting with their friends.
Messenger has got such a huge number of features in the past few months that I’m almost beginning to lose count. You have features for sending money, mini games, sharing Spotify tracks, video calling, Messenger codes to start conversations instantly with any person or business services, AI-powered chatbots and a lot more.
At present, the only feature which seems lacking is the facility of group video calls on Messenger. And it is perhaps only a matter of time that Messenger gets that feature as well which would then put it in serious competition against Google Hangouts or Skype.
Group audio calling will be available on Android and iOS updated Messenger apps within next 24 hours.