Facebook is intent on giving you more communication options beyond text messaging. The social network’s current obsession is video, and today it is introducing instant video to its Messenger platform.
The popular messaging service already has a video calling feature, but instant video is all about quick visuals that can compliment your existing text conversations.
The latest version of Messenger for iOS and Android allows you to easily add visuals to your chats by tapping the new video icon located within your Messenger conversation threads. This action will activate your smartphone’s camera, allowing you to instantly capture and share a live video with the recipient.
The video stream will begin with the sound off (seeing as most people are accustomed to watching Facebook videos on mute), allowing you to activate audio by tapping a speaker icon. You can also utilize both the front and rear cameras on your device, and your friends can join in the fun by responding with their own streams.
The best thing about the new feature is that it allows you to do all this whilst never leaving your text conversation. Instead of forcing you to ditch one format for the other, the video simply plays at the top right of the display, meaning you can still access your keyboard to continue your text chat.
Facebook claims that video is “a regular part of everyday life” now that most of us have constant access to a video camera and internet connection via our smartphones. However, there’s no denying the fact that live-streaming and instant video apps, such as Snapchat and Twitter’s Periscope, are mainly responsible for the recent rise in instant video. Facebook is simply adopting a trend that, in its own words, has become ubiquitous. Of course, unlike the aforementioned apps, Facebook has a much larger audience (1 billion and counting on Messenger). Most importantly, the company will be hoping that instant video adoption translates to more video being shared across its social network through its Live video feature.
Facebook craves daily activity, and it is convinced that video is the only way it can push users to to frequently share personal updates. However, as long as it keeps introducing undeniably cool features such as instant video, everyone can benefit from its preoccupation.