Facebook FB has launched the very first standalone Messenger app for desktop, available for Microsoft Windows and Apple’s macOS.
The social media giant had originally announced the Messenger desktop apps at its F8 conference a year ago. But as the conference was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the app has been launched as Messenger witnessed a huge surge in audio and video conferencing owing to lockdowns across the globe in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Messenger’s desktop app has features similar to its smartphone app version including group video calls, Dark mode, GIFs, chat syncs and notification settings including mute notifications.
Facebook said that there has been a 100% increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger.
Notably, Facebook opened the Messenger app, which has more than 1 billion users, to developers for creating chatbots that will enable businesses to extend customer service and other transactions.
Moreover, the tech giant is rewriting the app from scratch to make it the fastest and most secure major messaging platform in the world. It is also working to bring end-to-end encryption and ephemerality to boost user experience on the platform.
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Facebook Joins Other Desktop Video Communication Providers
Facebook’s Messenger desktop app joins the increasingly important pool of videoconferencing tools such as Alphabet GOOGL Google’s Hangout, Microsoft’s MSFT Teams and Zoom Video ZM, which is currently facing backlash for its privacy and security issues.
Google offers free video-conferencing through its Hangout Meet conferencing platform for larger meetings with up to 250 participants and live streaming for 100,000 viewers within a domain. The company recently increased the limit for its native video-calling app for smartphones, Google duo to 12 participants.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Teams, a successor to Skype for Business, is included as a feature in Microsoft’s Office 365 commercial suite. The paid version allows team members to share files, up to one terabyte per user, schedule meetings directly from Outlook, record meetings and collaborate on documents using the desktop Office programs and SharePoint Online.
Microsoft added 12 million daily active users to its Teams workplace collaboration platform during Mar 12-19 week to hit 44 million daily active users attributed to coronavirus-induced work from home.
Zoom allows individuals to meet and work together productively when meeting in-person isn't possible, helping employees to feel and stay connected. So far this year, the company is estimated to have added 2.22 million monthly active users. This marks a drastic rise from the 1.99 million users it added in 2019.
However, the Facebook Messenger can only handle up to eight group video call participants, opposed to 100+ participants allowed in Zoom.
Additionally, screen-sharing is the other major feature missing from Messenger app preventing some business use cases as well as phone social ones like co-browsing a photo album.
Nonetheless, Facebook’s Workplace chat desktop apps offer screen sharing so it is likely that Messenger could add that option in the future.
Moreover, Facebook’s Messenger is yet to face privacy and security issues, making it more accessible for users across the globe.
Facebook currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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