Facebook is looking to make video chatting a little easier its Messenger platform, today announcing that it’s made starting a video message with friends a lot more seamless. The new feature is called Instant Video, and it essentially allows for two people to quickly begin a video chat without the need to first place a call.
Facebook breaks down how Instant Video works in its announcement. As long as two people are viewing the same conversation, one of them only need to hit the video button in the upper right corner of the chat. Once that’s done, the person who hit the button will begin broadcasting themselves to the other person in the conversation, with the video hovering above the text window.
By default, the one who is receiving the call can’t be seen, though they can opt to show video from their end as well. Just the same, audio is muted by default too, which is good, considering we can think of quite a few situations where it wouldn’t be ideal to have audio on from the start, thus letting everyone within earshot listen in. Instant Video requires that both users are running the most recent version of Messenger on either iOS or Android.
Facebook may be feeling some pressure to up its video chat game now that Google Duo is on the scene. As time goes on, Facebook has been pumping its Messenger platform full of new features to make it a sort of one-stop communication platform, whether that’s adding the ability to send payments through the service or make voice calls. Instant Video is just another layer to this strategy, and we’ll likely see more features being added shortly, so stay tuned.