Facebook (FB) Brings Instant Video to Messenger

September 1, 2016 2:01 PM EDT

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Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) posted the following to its News blog on Thursday:

Messenger enables sharing, chatting, debating and discussing with those closest to us. We aim to give you the tools to help you personalize your conversations no matter who you are talking to — your roommate, your coworkers, your mother or your fantasy football commissioner.

We know that every message is unique and personal to you and the person you’re chatting with — so today, we’re excited to launch Instant Video, letting you to put a smile on the faces of those people who matter most in your life.

Video calling is still relatively new, and until recently, reserved for special occasions like celebrating “in person” with Grandma on her birthday or seeing Dad on a business trip. Now that we all seem to have a video camera and internet connection in our pocket, video is a regular part of everyday life — whether we’re sharing it, preserving it or chatting with it.

Instant Video is a reflection of the ubiquity of video — we simply expect to have that ability in real-time, all the time. With Instant Video, you can bring your conversations to life in the most authentic way — seamlessly and instantly. It’s perfect for sharing quick moments with friends who aren’t right by your side or making your conversations richer by seeing each other face-to-face when you are messaging. Sometimes you want to ask a friend’s opinion on a pair of shoes you want to buy, weigh in on what ice cream flavor they should bring home, or just want to see your BFF’s reaction to your witty message when you’re in a place where you can’t actually talk live.

Here’s how it works: First make sure that both you and your friend have the latest version of Messenger for either iOS or Android. Then, while both of you are viewing an open Messenger conversation, tap on the video icon in the top right corner to start sharing real-time video. Audio is off by default because sometimes you just need to see something, not hear it — but sound can easily be turned on if you choose. Your video will float over the active text conversation that you can continue while viewing the video. Your friend can watch your video stream and share a video back if they decide.

We believe that Instant Video is another example of how we try every day to solve real problems for real people. As always, please let us know what you think.



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