Facebook today launched a new standalone Messenger app for desktop, presumably in an attempt to get in on the massive new demand for good voice chat apps.
The new messenger app syncs across devices and give you unlimited free video and group calls, and also supports GIFs and notifications. It also comes in Dark Mode.
According to Stan Chudnovsky, Messenger VP, the company’s seen “more than a 100% increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger.” Given the situation the whole world is in at this moment, I don’t doubt that video chatting is the only way to see friends and relatives stuck in quarantine. Chudnovsky adds, “Now more than ever, people are using technology to stay in touch with the people they care about, even when physically apart.”
Facebook messenger is a familiar application to most people, though it has to compete with several other video chats out there, including the likes of FaceTime and Google Meet. While there’s a doubt that it’s going to have some business applications as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, it’s at least an alternative for personal video chats. Given that Zoom is on shaky ground at best because of its security issue which I talked about in the last article yesterday, it’s not a surprise if some are going to a more familiar app like Messenger, even if it’s no safer.
I have tried the app myself and I can assure you there’s not much of a difference between it and the website version of Messenger — you can text your friends and call them, and not much else. It’s not going to replace Discord for us any time soon, but considering I have several friends on Facebook who aren’t on Discord, it’s nice to have the option.
The app is currently available on the Microsoft Store and the Mac App Store.