Messenger’s ‘group call’ feature wraps around businesses

With the updated Messenger feature, businesses and individual users will find it easier to make group phone calls than other VoIP services

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A tech savvy humanBOT, Sharmistha is a professional writer

Facebook’s crowd-pleasing messaging app Messenger is rolling out audio group calling on mobile, both iOS and Android globally. In a Facebook post earlier this week, David Marcus, the company’s VP of Messaging Services, announced the global roll out of group calling in Messenger that allows group conversations with just a tap on the phone icon. The new feature lets Messenger users simultaneously dial up to 50 other people over the Internet.

The free service can be availed by all Facebook users who have the most recent Android and iOS application updates. But the focus does beyond individual users. Facebook is also planning to loop in businesses and enterprises by hooking in additional capabilities to its latest feature.

Eye on businesses?

With the introduction of Messenger Links, Facebook attempted to help businesses ease the making of message threads to facilitate customer interactions with them. Facebook also debuted Messenger Codes, unique codes that people can scan in using the cameras in their phones to open threads with businesses. Furthermore, the company has been constantly launching new updates and introducing a suite of tools to help Facebook users better connect with the businesses using the platform. The obvious indication is that businesses have emerged as a vital audience to take its performance to a new level.

With the updated Messenger feature, businesses and individual users will find it easier to make group phone calls than other VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) services. A user can initiate group calls by tapping the Phone symbol in Messenger, then selecting the members to dial. Individual participants can be managed on the next screen.

Managing your group call

An initiator can make calls on Messenger to all the members at the same time, who can then choose to accept, ignore or decline the call. This resolves the problem of time lag and other network interruptions that often create problems in adding other members in a group call. An invited member who misses the call, can join a call in progress tapping the Phone symbol in the group chat. Also like Skype, you can see the list of people who are on the call as well as send messages to members.

Earlier this month, Facebook opened its Messenger Send/Receive API that supports bot development on its chat platform to all developers. This gives developers access to the API and its documentation to build apps featuring the hero of this month- bots.

In January, Messenger reportedly crossed 800 million active monthly users, inching closer to the Facebook-owned WhatsApp messenger’s 900 million active monthly users. Looks like Facebook’s standalone app is giving a good combat after all!

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