While Messenger started as a Facebook feature, the Menlo Park-based company has been pushing its instant messaging solution as a standalone platform for quite some time now. However, as the social media giant keeps introducing new features to its IM app, the desktop version of Messenger also benefits from innovation in this segment. Well, eventually, that is. As it turns out, eight months after Facebook debuted Group Calls for the mobile version of Messenger, the said functionality also made its way to the Facebook desktop client.
At the moment, group audio calling for the desktop version of Messenger only rolled out in some territories as Facebook is still testing and tweaking this feature, but the social media giant is seemingly adamant to release this feature globally in the near future. As Facebook told TechCrunch, the company recently started experimenting with desktop Group Calls, and users who happen to be a part of this test will now see a small phone icon next to their group chats. As expected, clicking the said icon will start a group audio call and all of the other group members will instantly receive a notification to join the call. Naturally, this is a cross-platform feature so desktop users can use it to call phones and vice versa.
This test is a continuation of Facebook's long-term strategy to evolve the Messenger experience beyond simple text messages. The company has introduced desktop audio calling three years ago, but it's currently in the process of ennobling this feature by bringing it to group chats, as well. With that in mind, it's reasonable to presume that other functionalities recently introduced to the mobile version of Messenger will also make their way to the desktop client shortly. As for desktop Group Calls specifically, the social media giant has yet to provide an approximate global release window of this feature. However, given Facebook's average development times, it's likely this feature will roll out worldwide by spring. Looking at the broader picture, the Menlo Park-based company will probably debut more video-oriented Messenger features in early 2017 as the company continues its push into video. More information on that front is expected to follow shortly. In the meantime, you can check out whether you're a part of Facebook's desktop Group Calls test by logging into the browser version of Facebook and opening any group chat window.