Several years after making Messenger a standalone product, Facebook is testing the return of video and voice calls in its main app, according to the company. The test is only available to some Facebook mobile users, potentially encouraging them to utilize the social media platform as their primary way to chat with their friends beyond posting messages.
The details come from Bloomberg, which reports that some people located in select markets like the US will be able to access the new feature starting today. There’s no guarantee that Facebook will make these two features — both of which are available in Messenger — regular offerings in the main app.
That’s according to Facebook Messenger Product Management Director Connor Hayes, who told Bloomberg that Facebook is viewing Messenger as a service rather than a standalone product at this time. Integration of these features back into the main Facebook platform would eliminate the need to toggle between two different and commonly used Facebook apps.
It’s unclear how many Facebook users will get access to the feature and how the new tools will be integrated into the main app for these people. Screenshots and reports of the new capabilities will no doubt surface online in the near future as people discover the tools, however.
Whether consumers will want the two products to be integrated is another matter. By making Messenger a standalone product, many people who weren’t interested in their Facebook accounts could download the standalone messaging app and use it without the main Facebook app installed on their devices.