Facebook Adds Instant Video To Messenger

Who needs Apple’s FaceTime, or any other video-calling service?! 

That’s the question Facebook is asking its billion or so users now that it’s added Instant Video to Messenger.

Of course, the social giant has offered a feature similar to FaceTime since last year, but now it’s adding live video to Messenger’s mix of existing services.

With the new feature, Messenger users can easily add a live video feed to their conversations.

“Instant Video is a reflection of the ubiquity of video,” Facebook says in a new blog post. “We simply expect to have that ability in real-time, all the time.”

The new feature requires that two people are viewing an open Messenger conversation, at which one of them can tap on the new video icon in the top right corner of their screen to start sharing real-time video.

The video then floats over the active text conversation, which they both can continue while viewing.

For Facebook, the new feature is part of a bold effort to establish Messenger as a communication hub of Facebook-like proportions. Already, Messenger boasts more than 900 million monthly active users.

What Facebook is doing with Messenger is a big deal, experts at OMMA Boston recently agreed. Marketers should be most excited about the direct lines of communication it is creating between themselves and consumers, according to Josh Engroff, chief digital media officer at The Media Kitchen, and managing director of KBS+ Ventures.

The industry has “never really had direct communication between brands and consumers” to such an immense degree, Engroff told OMMA Boston attendees. “Technology and media are at a tipping point.” Already, users can order a car via Uber and share a song via Spotify directly on the popular app.

Rarely does a week go by without Facebook adding some big new feature to Messenger. Among other additions, Messenger recently added group calling, Dropbox file sharing, and Video Chat Heads, which allows users to talk to friends from a smaller “chat head” instead of using their full phone screen.

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