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“We’re not thinking about what our second, third, fourth, and fifth steps will.We’re goingto look at the data and decide what we need to do.
“Unprompted, a lot of people said ‘we’d like to have a face-to-face conversation over Messenger” he tells me.This is all part of Facebook’s philosophy that its products have to be good enough to grow without massive cross-promotional help. Protecting people from their own data usage will be important for the feature.It’s often let products like Facebook Deals or Home die rather than pester its nearly one and a half billion people to use them. Only products and features people actually want survive and that’s how the product keeps getting better and better” Chudnovsky reveals. Though Facebook offers a way to disable auto-play of News Feed videos when you’re not on Wi-Fi to save people’s data plans, some users who didn’t still felt burned when they saw their bills.The demo I saw showed just a hint of pixelation and strong frame rate with 2 bars of LTE service in SF.It’s easy to switch to just VOIP audio, and Facebook will gracefully notify you if the connection weakens to where video won’t work.Building video into a chat app means these conversations can be emergent, spontaneous experiences, rather than scheduled occurrences.
“Everything starts from a text conversation these days” Chudnovsky explains. I’m going to text you and ask if you have three minutes for a phone call.” Instead they can text in Messenger, and switch to video with one tap.
Bringing it to mobile could Messenger a serious competitor to i OS-only Face Time, clunky Skype, and less-ubiquitous Google Hangouts.
With 600 million Messenger users and 1.44 billion on Facebook, the new VOIP video feature has a massive built-in audience.
Mark Zuckerberg said on last week’s Facebook earnings call that Messenger already accounts for 10% of global mobile VOIP calls.
He believes free, high audio quality VOIP will displace traditional phone calling, and video calling could accelerate that.
Messenger has no plans to charge for audio or video calling. If you have access, you’ll see the video camera icon in the top right corner when you’re having a Messenger chat with a friend who can be called.