Today, Facebook has announced new Messenger app for MacOS and Windows which they hope you will use to video chat with your friends and family around the world.
Facebook says they have seen more than a 100% increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling. This is highly likely due to the effects of the coronavirus, which has forced people to work or attend online classes from home. This requires video chat and Facebook Messenger has that feature.
Facebook brags that Messenger offers unlimited and free group video calls. This takes a dig on video conferencing companies like Zoom which limit how many video calls you can make on the free tier. Facebook Messenger was already able to allow up to 50 participants per chat, so that could be useful to some people.
Facebook had originally announced these apps last year during the F8 conference. There was no conference this year (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), so they just had to launch it without much fanfare.
In addition to video calling, the new apps support features like chat syncing between mobile and desktop, getting notifications, dark mode and GIFs.
Facebook Messenger for desktop can be useful to family members with an internet connection who would want to keep up with each other as we keep our distance due to the pandemic. It can also be used by some organizations as a way to have short meetings. However, apps like Zoom are much better suited for workplace scenarios and Facebook Messenger can be better for family and friends hangouts.