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.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.Facebook Messenger’s Head Of Product Stan Chudnovsky who led the video calling feature tells me, “Whatever’s good for Messenger is good for Facebook as a company.” Video calling in Messenger will become available today for i OS and Android users in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the U. Cameras start in selfie mode but you can toggle to the backside camera to show a friend what you’re doing.Messenger will adjust the quality of the call according to your connection.
When I asked how Messenger compares to Skype or Hangouts’ data usage, Chudnovsky wouldn’t be specific but said “We’ve been doing a lot of benchmarking and we’re very happy.
“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.
“We’re building infrastructure that will allow us to do anything we want with video” Chudnovsky explains.
Still he wouldn’t say if Facebook’s moving in the livestreaming direction.