While it might not seem obvious at first, Microsoft’s Skype is one of Facebook Messenger’s biggest competitors. Skype allows people to communicate through things like video chat, and this is something that Facebook’s Messenger hasn’t been able to do thus far.
But Facebook is fighting back now with an update to Messenger that lets people video chat with one another directly through Messenger.
The New Video Chat
Starting today, you will be able to video chat with someone directly through Facebook Messenger by opening up a Messenger window and selecting the chat option. This will make it simpler for anyone wanting to use a Skype-like service, but not knowing how to use Skype directly, to communicate with Facebook contacts.
The Messenger chat option will only work through the Messenger app, but using the new option is simple enough to understand. At the top right hand corner of the Messenger app screen (when you open up a chat window), you will see a small video icon. Just click on the video icon to open up a video chat. It’s that simple.
Facebook for Work
Aside from trying to compete directly with Skype, iChat and Google Chat, Facebook is also working on something that the company calls Facebook for Work. The new Facebook for Work service will include a Facebook that comes without ads. Facebook also claims that the social network won’t be collecting data from companies that use Facebook for Work.
Facebook for Work has only rolled out to a few companies so far, and those companies are testing the new Facebook option. Once Facebook figures out how well this new setup works, or doesn’t work, the option will be rolled out to more companies. So far, those companies that are testing Facebook for Work like the app well enough, and the new video chat option will just add to Facebook’s goal to make the social network a work tool.
The Goal Is Clear
Facebook has been trying to move from a social network to an essential work tool for some time now, but it won’t be a simple move for the company to make. In order for Facebook to become the work tool that it wants to be, companies will have to trust the social network. Unfortunately, Facebook’s reputation for trust is one that is slightly tarnished, and it’s well known that the company collects user data.
Even though Facebook claims that data from companies won’t be collected, many are still skeptical that Facebook will keep its promise where privacy is concerned. Still, the company is pushing on with things like video chat. Video chat through Messenger will be available to everyone in the U.S. starting today, though, so you don’t need to have a business account in order to access this option.
Whether or not Facebook will succeed when it comes to providing a work tool for companies is unseen, but you can use the chat through Messenger option if you just want a way to video chat without using a service like Skype.