Facebook plans Messenger for iPad, video calls for iPhone app

Facebook teased an iPad version of its iOS app, last June and the social network delivered on its promise, soon after in October. Then in August, last year, Facebook launched the Messenger app - the primary function of which is chat. The Messenger app was thought to be made in collaboration with Beluga, the messaging service that Facebook acquired and then later, shut down. The Messenger app for iPhone was then rumoured to support video calling as part of Facebook's relationship with Skype. The report says that Facebook and Skype were previously exploring their options of Facebook to Facebook video calling within Skype. Now, according to 9to5 Mac, the Facebook Messaging app for the iPhone is actively working on supporting video calling with Skype video chat support. The functionality will come to Android smartphones soon as well and both should be available at some point during summer. 

Screenshots of Facebook Messenger for iOS

Will feature video calling functionality soon




Facebook is also working on bringing the Messenger app to the iPad. Given that Facebook took a while to bring the original Facebook app as well as Messenger to the iPad, it's doubtful whether the video chat functionality will come built into the Messenger iPad app at launch. A source close to 9to5 Mac has added that users comfortable with the Messenger app on their iPhones should feel right at home with the Messenger app on the iPad. There will for the most part be a larger version of the iPhone app, with push notifications, one-to-one messaging, group chats, the ability to send pictures as well as see friends on a map if they share their location with you. 


Facebook's focus has been on mobile, which is also arguably the reason they bought the mobile only platform, Instagram. Adding to the also mobile only platform, that is, the Messenger application, is an extension of what could be the social network's desire to evolve into a form of mobile communication. The Facebook Messenger app is one place where communication comes in from Facebook Messages, chats as well as Facebook e-mail. Will it make sense to add a Skype powered video chat service within the Messenger app when Skype already exists as an app on its own for smartphones? We will have to wait and see the effect this move has on the VoIP service.

Published Date: May 03, 2012 03:36 pm | Updated Date: May 03, 2012 03:36 pm