The company announced this week that Meta is launching a new Calls tab for Messenger. The company says the new tab will make it easier to connect with friends and family through the app with a single tap. The new Calls tab is now available globally on iOS and will be available to Android users in the next few weeks.
A new Calls tab will appear next to the Chats, Stories, and People tabs on the bottom navigation bar in the app. Clicking on a new tab will open the contact list. Prior to this change, users had to open a thread with a friend to call them. The new tab simplifies this process by allowing users to call their friends directly. Adding a Calls tab could also be a way for Meta to introduce this option to people who aren’t familiar with Messenger’s calling features.
Meta reports that Messenger audio and video calls are growing at a rapid pace, with daily calls up over 40% since the start of 2020. The company also reports that more than 300 million audio and video calls are made daily on Messenger worldwide.
The new Calling tab was created by Meta’s Remote Presence, which is the product and platform group responsible for the video and audio calling feature set at the heart of Meta Technologies. Meta says the new Calls tab is one of many features meant to create a space for people to deepen their relationships with others.
Meta has been working on improving Messenger over the past few months and has launched a number of new features. In March, the company added new functions and shortcuts, including a new Slack-like “@everyone” feature that will notify all chat participants of a new message. Meta also implemented the “/silent” feature. When you type “/silent” before sending a message to a group chat, group members will not receive a notification of your message at all.
In February, Messenger expanded its “separate payments” feature for all iOS and Android users in the United States. The company began testing this feature late last year to allow users to share bills and expenses through the app. Meta sees the new feature as a “free and fast” way to manage finances through Messenger. Separate payments were introduced along with news that Messenger is launching new voice message recording controls to allow users to pause, preview, delete, or continue recording a voice message before sending it. The company also increased the length of voice messages from one minute to 30 minutes.
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