Facebook has announced a notable update to the group audio- and video-chat feature within Messenger.
Previously, to initiate a video or audio call with more than one other person you would have to start a call from scratch with the desired number of participants included from the get-go. Now, you can add a new friend to a call while an existing call is already taking place.
So, for example, let’s say you’re chatting with your buddy in a one-to-one video conversation. Rather than having to hang up and start a new call with more friends included, you can now just add new friends to the existing call by tapping the screen and hitting the “add person” button.
Facebook first introduced group audio calls to Messenger back in April 2016, and followed suit with group video calls later that year. Group calls have emerged as a key component of messaging apps as companies vie for stickiness by offering every possible feature you could ever need. Curiously though, Apple doesn’t yet offer group calls through its FaceTime app, though this will reportedly be remedied in iOS 12.
Ultimately, Facebook wants as little friction as possible as it looks to keep people within its gargantuan communications silo. And by letting you seamlessly switch to group chats from one-to-one conversations, it’s giving users one less reason to jump ship.
This update is rolling out to Messenger on both Android and iOS globally from today.