(JustPatriots.com)- Starting last Monday, some Facebook users will be able to place voice or video calls from the Facebook app. This new feature is currently just a test, however, the objective is to reduce the need for users to jump back and forth between Facebook’s main app and its accompanying Messenger service.
Though Messenger was originally built in to the Facebook app, it was spun off as a separate app back in 2014. Last fall, Facebook started testing a limited version of Messenger’s inbox in the core Facebook app.
Ultimately, Facebook views Messenger as a service, rather than a stand-alone app. Meaning people can use the technology alongside other things. For example, relying on Messenger to video chat while simultaneously watching videos or playing games on Facebook.
Voice and video calls that use Messenger technology are available on other Facebook platforms, including Instagram, Oculus and Portal devices. According to Connor Hayes, director of project management at Messenger, users will start seeing quite a bit more of this over time. Messenger, Hayes said, is the “connective tissue for people to be together when apart” no matter which service they choose to use.
Back in September, Facebook enabled messaging between its Instagram app and Messenger. Currently there are plans in the works to bring the similar capability to its WhatsApp messaging service as well.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that integrating the company’s messaging services is ultimately a benefit to the social media giant’s users. It allows them to reach more people while reducing the need to download or jump between separate apps.
However, many critics of Big Tech monopolies argue that Facebook’s motives have nothing to do with benefitting their users. Instead, critics believe that by intertwining its services in this way, Facebook is making it impossible for the company to be broken up.
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission filed a new complaint in federal court alleging that Facebook violated antitrust laws when it acquired Instagram and WhatsApp in order to eliminate them as competitors. The FTC has asked the court to unwind these acquisition.