Facebook is trying to add voice and video calls to the main Facebook app, Bloomberg reports. Currently, the features are part of the standalone Messenger app, which Facebook originally created from its big blue main app in 2011 and officially removed in 2014.
Voice and video calling are two of the Messenger features that Facebook has introduced in its other products, such as Portal camcorders and Oculus virtual reality headsets. The company has not shared whether it plans to recover other parts of Messenger, but the director of product management at Messenger said Bloomberg that “you’ll start to see a little more of that over time.”
Facebook has confirmed this The Verge which is testing voice and video calls in “several countries, including the United States.” The company did not share how many users will see the features or what this means for the standalone Messenger app in the future, other than “for a full messaging, audio and video calling experience, people should continue to use Messenger.” .
Adding voice and video calls to the Facebook app makes as much sense as undoing Messenger in the first place. Yes, it means there’s one less app to switch between while doing other things on your computer or phone, but it also means you’ll have to interact with (or at least watch) Facebook along the way. I’m not sure everyone is interested in doing it.
There’s also the risk that weaving Messenger into Facebook causes the same kind of criticism as direct messaging messages from Messenger and Instagram. It seems to make a giant company like Facebook even harder to break, which may be the point.
Nor is it the first suggestion that Facebook was considering sending Messenger back to Facebook. In 2019, the company tried to return text chats to the main app with a dedicated inbox and splashed “from Facebook” on Oculus, Instagram and WhatsApp.