New Facebook app aims to bring back the phone call

27 May 2020 21:20, Somoy English Desk
New Facebook app aims to bring back the phone call
New Facebook app aims to bring back the phone call

Anew app from Facebook called CatchUp is being tested, and it's designed to help friends and families in the U.S. coordinate phone calls.

As reported by TechCrunch: Facebook's internal R&D group, NPE Team, has today launched a new app called CatchUp that makes it easier for friends and family in the U.S. to coordinate phone calls or set up group calls with up to 8 people. While there are a number of group chat apps available to users today, what makes CatchUp unique is that the calls it enables are audio-only, not video, and it flags when users are available. In addition, CatchUp won't need a Facebook account to use the service — the app works with your phone's contacts list.

The report notes that the app seems to take inspiration from Houseparty and some of its features, notably setting a status to show friends and family you are live, there's also a 'Ready to Talk' section of your contacts, so you know who is online and ready to be called.

Catching up has never been this easy. See who's available and effortlessly join one-on-one and group calls. Never play phone tag or make an appointment to call someone again. Keep in touch more, think about it less. Any time you're free to talk, CatchUp!

Facebook has built the app to address "one of the key reasons people no longer make phone calls". Namely, not knowing if the other person is free. The app is supposed to remove the uncertainty of knowing whether or not you might be interrupting someone by calling them, and the support for audio-only calls was added because video calling isn't always convenient.

The people whose calls you dodge are sure to love this new app from Facebook.

On May 26, Facebook's New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team announced the launch of an app that's basically Houseparty for phone calls (not video calls). CatchUp, which is free to download, lets users see who's available to voice chat, and then allows them to initiate both one-on-one and group calls within the app.

CatchUp is a standalone app that is not connected with the Facebook app. You don't have to have a Facebook account, or an account with another Facebook-owned company, to use it. Instead of running on Facebook friends, it works by letting the app access the contacts in your phone and builds your friend list from there. So, it doesn't mean all of your relatives who are your Facebook friends will be able to call you more easily — just all the randos in your contacts who have also downloaded CatchUp.


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