Facebook tests group audio calls for desktop, takes on Skype an Hangouts

Messenger's impressive run of new feature releases (it's also experimenting with AI-powered contextual suggestions) is evidence Facebook is unwilling to simply let it ride the coattails of the 1.79 billion user core app it's inherently tied to. If the grid-based layout of Messenger's group-video setup looks familiar to you, that might be because of its striking resemblance to Houseparty, the popular app that took off earlier this year.

Group Video Chat in Messenger is an easy-to-use means to stay connected face-to-face with your friends and family. Starting today, Group Video Chat is rolling out to Android and iOS devices, and the desktop version of Messenger, worldwide.

In an effort to make that dream a reality, it recently updated the chat app's camera with Snapchat-like lenses, and now it's updated the group video call feature, enabling you to chat with up to 50 participants simultaneously. This should be good for small meetings and get-togethers without having to yank out a more powerful software. In case if you are one of the lucky chosen by Facebook, then you will plug a phone icon in your group chat window.

Facebook Messenger is on a roll, pushing out new features in rapid succession as 2016 comes to a close. One of the company's plan is to create shortcuts to make it easier for the users. Each person can join with one tap. The difference now is that you can have more than two people involved with a video chat.

"This is the time of year to tell our friends and family how much we care about them and send best wishes for the year ahead".

On iOS, users will also be able to don 3-D masks, with the capability coming soon to Android.

You can now start a video group chat with Facebook Messenger and try out new 3D masks with the app's 100.0 update, it was announced Monday.

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