In the wake of similar apps like Google Hangouts and Skype adding new features, Facebook Messenger is introducing a new improvement as well. The handy little Messenger app is getting handier, with free group calling to all users coming soon. Forbes.com discovered a statement from Facebook‘s head of messaging products that said the feature was being announced today, and would come out for all users on Wednesday. The group call feature has been around for a while on platforms like Skype, but some are worried this could compromise their privacy and security when using Messenger.
Aha! Another brand new Facebook Messenger feature: group calling with up to 50 people!! Yes, VIDEO group chat will no…
Some Facebook users pointed out the fact that they likely will not need to have a group call with 50 people (the feature’s maximum number) at any one time, but this addition could be useful for business meetings and collaboration. You can already send and receive files over Messenger, though this is not usually considered to be a very secure method of file sharing.
Facebook also recently announced that they want to make Messenger into an entire platform, but did not go into specifics as to what that will actually entail. So far, they have added stickers as well as apps that play nice with Messenger, but it’s not clear what the end goal is just yet. TechCrunch.com discussed some of the features the new Messenger function will offer, including the ability to join a video chat late if you miss the original call, and to send a reminder to those who haven’t joined yet. Useful, no?
If you’re not convinced yet, Facebook is also rumored to be adding chat bots to its Messenger app. If Skype is anything to base off of, the chat bots might be able to do useful things like help search for music or interact with you for a fun chat. Messenger also added audio messaging, which lets users record their voices and send them in text-message format through Messenger, fairly recently. The fact that Facebook tried to acquire SnapChat may also be a hint about the direction the social media heavy-hitter is trying to go in.
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As with any new technology, though, there are concerns over the privacy of Facebook’s new Messenger features. For instance, more apps means Facebook will be collecting more data from Messenger users, a problem that has already damaged the application’s reputation in the past.
Also, an option turned on by default allows Messenger to know the user’s location, which it automatically shares unless explicitly told not to via a setting. Video calls come with their own concerns as well, since the user can be seen by a person they may not know well or at all in real life. Also, it’s been said that Facebook can read all the messages exchanged between friends over Messenger, though this was denied by Facebook.
Hopefully, as Messenger continues to develop, we will see more improvements like the ones already being implemented. Let us know what you like and don’t like about Messenger if you use it, and whether you would add or remove anything from the list of upcoming improvements.