Facebook is slowly but surely taking over your phone. Now, when you're chatting with friends on the social media's Messenger app, you'll be able to hit an icon to switch to video calling.
Facebook announce the new feature Monday, which will allow video chatting over Wi-Fi or cellular data networks.
People were resistant when Facebook moved smartphone messaging into a standalone app. But, as usual, the power of Facebook won out, and today more than 600 million people use the Messenger app every month. In its latest move, Facebook is putting its leverage to work against Skype and FaceTime, which already offer video calls on smartphones.
The Messenger advantage? First off, you've already got those hundreds of millions of people in the app, and this offers them a seamless way to switch from text to video without having to launch a separate app. Plus, it works between iPhones and Android phones, so it's got a serious edge on FaceTime, which only connects people on iOS devices.
Indeed, Facebook is putting a lot of stock into Messenger, which was a central focus of the company's F8 developer conference in March. There, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a host of new Messenger abilities, including the integration of gifs and connecting people with customer service for businesses on Facebook. Facebook also added a payment service to the app.
Video calling in Messenger launched Monday in the U.S. and Canada as well as more than a dozen other countries and will be rolling out to other places over the next several months.