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A big question raised by the launch is whether this could pave the way for Facebook to enter the mobile livestreaming market, where Meerkat and Twitter’s Periscope are making waves.“We’re building infrastructure that will allow us to do anything we want with video” Chudnovsky explains.

It’s easy to switch to just VOIP audio, and Facebook will gracefully notify you if the connection weakens to where video won’t work.

It’s all free on Facebook’s side, and users will only be charged for data use by their mobile operator, which they can avoid by using Wi-Fi.

We’re goingto look at the data and decide what we need to do.

there’s are 20 different ways we can take it.” Perhaps the most glaring omission for now is that mobile Messenger users can’t video call with desktop Facebook users, but Chudnovsky says that should be patched relatively soon.

For example, Chudnovsky imagines two people Messenger text chatting for hours, one in a hotel room in NY, another in a room in Paris, both on Wi-Fi.

Messenger could notify them that they could turn their chat into a video call for free.

“Unprompted, a lot of people said ‘we’d like to have a face-to-face conversation over Messenger” he tells me.

Building video into a chat app means these conversations can be emergent, spontaneous experiences, rather than scheduled occurrences.

Here’s a quick video from Facebook showing Messenger video calls in action: Facebook first introduced desktop video calling in partnership with Skype in 2011, but eventually built its own video call infrastructure.

Bringing it to mobile could Messenger a serious competitor to i OS-only Face Time, clunky Skype, and less-ubiquitous Google Hangouts.

On mobile, he thinks video calling in Messenger will be much more convenient than having to either video call someone suddenly, or switch apps.

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