Social network Facebook announced plans to bring audio and video calls back to the main mobile application of the platform. The developers stated that this is a test solution, which will only be available to a small portion of users for now.
Since 2014, Facebook has been split into two mobile applications – the main client of the social network and the Messenger service. The latter is for communication and is responsible for all chats and calls between users. The company attributed this decision to the desire to provide users with more functions.
Thus, for the first time in seven years, communication functionality will return to the main Facebook application. The reason for this decision is not specified. In the near future, the developers plan to test the update among US residents. The exact launch dates and plans for geographic distribution have not been specified.
Despite the launch of audio and video calls in the main service, text chat will remain part of Messenger for now. Whether it is planned to return it to the Facebook app is not specified.
Facebook adds end-to-end encryption to Messenger for voice and video calls
Facebook has recently added end-to-end encryption for voice and video calls to Messenger. The company announced on its blog that it is rolling out this innovation along with new controls for disappearing messages. Some users will also have access to additional test functions related to encryption.
Facebook Messenger got end-to-end encryption of text messages in 2016 when the social media giant added secret chats to the app. Now, this mode also supports calls. Facebook said it is rolling out the feature as interest in voice and video calls grows. The company says that Messenger users currently make over 150 million video calls a day.
One of Facebook’s messengers, WhatsApp, has been offering end-to-end encrypted calls for some time, which prevents anyone other than the other person from seeing the content of the conversation. A number of messengers from other companies offer similar opportunities, including Telegram, Zoom, Signal and FaceTime. Previously, there were rumors that Facebook might roll out end-to-end encrypted UM for WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, but that hasn’t happened yet.
The Messenger update also touched on text messages. Users can now choose how soon sent messages disappear – from 5 seconds to 24 hours.
The updates described above are now available to all users. In addition, some of them will be able to conduct end-to-end encrypted group chats with friends and family; if a separate chat thread has already been created for these users. It’s also worth noting that Instagram Direct messages have received end-to-end encryption support.