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Facebook Rolls Out Video Calling In Messenger
By: Jennifer Graber
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Facebook is a social media powerhouse that has taken over the digital world. For further proof that the giant in the room is staging a complete takeover: Facebook’s latest update. The more updates and standalone apps that Facebook releases, the more apparent it becomes that the social media company is moving to be the end-all-be-all.
On Monday Facebook released an update to its Messenger app. The latest update for Facebook is “free VOIP video calling over cellular and wifi connections.” The addition in Messenger is available for both Apple and Android mobile devices in the United States, the UK, Canada, Poland, Norway, Mexico, and various other countries.
To get a video call going in Messenger, a user simply has to tap a button in the top-right corner of the app. The user must complete this action within a Messenger conversation already in progress. The Messenger video call is not limited to between two users with the same operating system, so a video call can take place between an Apple user and an Android user — just as long as they both have the Messenger app on their mobile devices. A video call cannot yet be placed between a mobile device and desktop computer or laptop.
Additionally, Facebook is aiming to “connect people face to face no matter where they are or what mobile connection they have.” Theoretically, then, someone with great cell service could video chat with someone halfway across the world with so-so service. Users will have the option to switch to voice-only feeds, or switch off video feeds, during the call to share bandwidth with one another. This fits in a situation where one caller has great cell service whereas the other does not due to location and so forth.

For now, the video call feature on Messenger is free. The plan is for it to remain that way. The only cost that users will incur is the cost for data and cellular service. This actually could end up being pricey considering the cost of data plans these days. If you have access to Wi-Fi, this is less of an issue, but no one has access to it at all times.

It seems like Facebook wants to be the only social media you will ever need or want. This is a smart — i.e., strategic — stance for a digital company to take, or any company, for that matter. It won’t be long before the answer to the question is "Facebook has an app for that."

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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