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Facebook Messenger launches video chat that lets you text at the same time
- Updated: September 2, 2016
The instant messaging app has already shaken things up with gif search and secret basketball games, but now it hopes to excite users with a new video chat feature.
It’s not the first time Facebook has offered video chat. Since 2015, people have been able to talk in a similar way to Apple’s FaceTime.
The new addition is that people can now chat face to face while sending traditional written messages at the same time, as the video will be confined to a small corner.
This could be helpful in circumstances where you want to describe something, like a new outfit you’re thinking of buying or how cute your dog is when it snores.
It’s already available (Picture: Facebook)
Or if you want to see the person you’re chatting too, but not enough to see their face fill your phone in glorious technicolour the whole time. Or if you want to see them, but you hate the sound of your own voice (that’s not really how I sound, right?)
The feature is easy to use: just click the video camera option in the top right corner when you have a chat window open, as in the picture above.
When your friend is viewing your conversation at the same time, the button will pulse to let you know. This lets you share a short (silent) video with them.
‘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,’ Facebook said.
‘Instant Video is a reflection of the ubiquity of video — we simply expect to have that ability in real-time, all the time.’
Snapchat has a similar feature which has been popular. It comes after Facebook-owned Instragram introduced another Snapchatty feature, ‘Stories’, which has the same name in both apps.