Facebook Messenger Lets 50 Friends Get In on a Call

Facebook last week announced that it had rolled out group calling worldwide in its Messenger app. Members engaged in a group conversation can tap the phone icon on their screen to initiate a group call. They can manage individual participants on the next screen. Members of a group who miss the initial call can tap the phone icon in the group chat to join the call while it's in progress.

The feature allows up to 50 participants and is available only in the latest version of Messenger.

Move Over, Phone Carriers

The announcement likely will cause concern among telecommunications companies because "if you consider that social media's a form of asynchronous communication, then Facebook is the largest telecom on the planet, with about 1.3 billion subscribers," observed Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

"Now add synchronous communications -- that is, communications in real time -- and Facebook's beginning to come into focus as the next paradigm of communications: async and sync combined," he told TechNewsWorld. "This could be a game changer."