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Facebook Messenger gets a new feature to take on Skype and FaceTime

by Jacob Kleinman | April 27, 2015April 27, 2015 6:20 pm PST

Facebook is jumping into the video calling competition with its latest Messenger update. The new feature, which seems designed to challenge Skype and FaceTime, is available now through the Facebook Messenger mobile app.

You can launch a video call from inside a conversation by simply tapping the new camera icon in the top right corner. Then the recipient will be able to accept or reject the call. You can even make calls between Android and iOS devices.

There is one drawback to Facebook’s new service though, at least for now. It only works between smartphones. That means you can’t call your friend from your laptop, something Skype and FaceTime are already capable of. Hopefully, the company will add that capability before too long, though it may require a standalone Messenger app for desktop.

Video calling is available now for Android and iOS in over a dozen countries, with more coming soon. You check out Facebook’s announcement video below, or boot up the Messenger app now to try out the new feature for yourself.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...