Facebook’s push for video goes well beyond the News Feed. On today’s earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said 400 million people are making audio and video calls each month, up swiftly from 300 million in just September. That’s partly thanks to the December launch of multi-screen group video chat that looks similar to fast-rising startup Houseparty. Messenger is starting to become a VoIP giant like Facebook’s other chat app WhatsApp, which saw 100 million audio calls per day as of June.
Zuckerberg also reiterated Facebook’s plans for video content. He noted that Facebook is now investing in partners producing longer-form professional videos.
Facebook’s video calling feature could put the squeeze on a wide array of competitors, including Google’s new Duo video chat app, Snapchat and Skype. Because Facebook is so ubiquitous, it can be more convenient than trying to set up a video chat with someone on other apps when you might not have their private phone number, email address or username. With Facebook, all you need is their name and you can talk face to face.