Facebook tries to match Zoom with desktop Messenger update

Chris Burns - Apr 2, 2020, 11:17 am CDT
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Facebook tries to match Zoom with desktop Messenger update

A Facebook Messenger app was released this week for group chats between Facebook users. Users could’ve done video chat before now, with Messenger from Facebook, but this app makes the entire process feel a bit more official. This release comes just as the app Zoom sees a massive increase in use thanks to quarantine for global pandemic thanks to COVID-19.*

This newest edition of the Facebook Messenger desktop app allows Group Video Calls “on a larger screen.” Before now, the UI didn’t quite add up. Now, as Facebook suggests, you can “stay in touch with family and friends, join a workout, or host a virtual happy hour.”

This app update brings Dark Mode to desktop users – before it was only WHITE, across the board. Now you’ll also be able to insert more media into chats – including GIFs, at last. You’ll continue to be able to get desktop notifications of messages and calls to video chat.

*Facebook also saw a relatively major increase in use over the last couple of weeks. Facebook officials reported that they’d had “more than a 100% increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger.”

People that’ve been using Messenger for an extended period of time were promised Facebook Messenger desktop apps of this newest update’s nature all the way back in April of 2019. Today the app launches (with a major update) for Windows via the Microsoft Store and on Apple computers via the Mac App Store.

This launch comes at prime-time for video chat apps. The folks at Zoom had to respond to security concerns this week. They’ve had so many security concerns about privacy, they’ve had to halt all work on feature updates, and dedicate all developers to fixing security issues.

Facebook Messenger Kids – the kid-aimed version of the Messenger app – faced some extreme criticism back in July of 2019 for privacy issues. There was a bug at that time that allowed strangers to group chat with kids. It was a bit of a mess. You may want to back up to our feature “How secure is your messenger app? Things you should know” before you jump onboard your next multi-user video chat this week.


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