Facebook Messenger is launches split-screen group video chat feature

Facebook Headquarters

Facebook Headquarters

Group video chat on Messenger will be available globally, both on iOS and Android, and will start rolling out Monday. Speculations on Facebook Messenger providing its own group voice call and group video chat features have been circulating for some time. We profiled this group video chat app from the makers of Meerkat last month, calling it the place where teens "livechill" instead of having to give exhausting solo performances on broadcasting services like Facebook Live.

Why this matters: Mark Zuckerberg and co. have been on a roll this year, adopting popular features from competitors-mainly Snapchat-to integrate into its Facebook apps. You can also add more friends after the chat has started. "It's the best way to share the news you just got a job (or into college), have your kids wish grandma a happy birthday, tell a amusing story to the people you love or just see your friends live while wearing fun 3D masks...in an everyday conversation". "So you get photo sharing and video calling over time, and then you also get multi-person phone calling and video calling over time too", said Jan Dawson, chief analyst with Jackdaw Research.

With so many online communication tools allowing you to conduct group calls, it's really quite surprising that Facebook has yet to catch up - at least on the desktop side.

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Messenger has been adding features such as making voice and video calls, playing games and sending money to friends to increase usage and engagement.

To use it you'll need to running the latest version of Messenger. Once you've selected the members you want to converse with, then you can click "Invite" and a request will be sent to these members to join the call. It's easy to jump into an existing conversation or start a new one by simply tapping on the video icon on the upper right of the screen. Each person can join when they're ready with just a tap. Think you dig it more than Skype?