Facebook has updated its popular Messenger to v4.0 for Android, and it comes with a series of new features including Free Voice Calls and Groups. WhatsApp is already rolling out voice call feature to its Android users worldwide.
So Facebook had to do something to thwart the competition. Facebook Messenger 4.0 is different from WhatsApp’s platform in that it doesn’t make use of the user’s phone number.
Facebook started rolling out Messenger 4.0 in the second week of March. Users can now create groups in the app, containing all your friends whom you send messages regularly.
You will be able to create different groups for different kinds of friends and share different things with them. For example, you could create a group of close friends, another one of colleagues or some other groups.
Facebook Messenger has a new feature that allows you to forward photos. You can also forward messages. Until now you could ‘send’ photos and messages, but couldn’t forward a message.
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This feature could become beneficial for various types of users including professionals who want to forward instructions or info about events or meetings.
Facebook had released a beta to test the free voice call feature. With the Messenger v4.0 this feature will come as a standard. An internet connection is all that is required to make calls worldwide. This feature comes at a time when WhatsApp has already rolled out free voice calls.
The new Messenger allows creation of shortcuts for directly conversing with anyone. There is no longer any need to open the app to start the conversion. You can create a shortcut on the home screen and open it to communicate with a person or group. This makes it easier and faster to start conversions.
With the new Messenger, Facebook aims to directly take on WhatsApp. While WhatsApp has over 600 million monthly users, Facebook boasts over 1.32 billion users. Facebook will be able to reach more users with its messaging app, but eventually it comes down to convenience.