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Facebook Messenger gets group calling with up to 50 friends

Engadget Engadget 21/04/2016 Nick Summers
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While Facebook is obsessed with bots, it's not the only new feature the company has been working on for Messenger. The app will soon be getting group calls which, as its name implies, allows you to have an audio-based conversation with multiple people. With the latest version of the Messenger app, it's just a matter of tapping the phone icon while you're inside a group chat. Once you've done this, Facebook will give you a secondary screen to manage the people on the call. TechCrunch reports that you can have a maximum of 50 friends on a single group call.

Facebook hasn't talked about group video calling, although it stands to reason the feature is in its long-term roadmap. Unlike WhatsApp, which seems content to be a simple and secure SMS replacement, Messenger is being developed as a more advanced, helpful and socially integrated chat application. Group video calling is one of the few ways that Skype and Google Hangouts continue to trump Messenger -- removing that differentiator would likely extend Facebook's dominance on mobile.

David Marcus (Facebook)

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