Meta is rolling out a new Calls tab for Messenger, the company announced this week. The company says the new tab will make it easier to connect with friends and family through the app in one tap. The new Calls tab is now available globally on iOS and will roll out to Android users in the next few weeks.
The new Calls tab will appear alongside the “Chats,” “Stories” and “People" tabs on the bottom navigation bar in the app. Clicking on the new tab will open your list of contacts. Prior to this change, users had to open a thread with a friend to call them. The new tab makes this process easier by allowing users to dial their friends directly. Adding a Calls tab could also be a way for Meta to introduce the option to people who aren't familiar with Messenger's calling functions.
Meta says audio and video calling on Messenger has grown at a rapid rate with more than 40% more daily callers now compared to early 2020. The company also says that there are more than 300 million audio and video calls globally on Messenger everyday.
The new Calls tab was built by Meta’s Remote Presence org, which is the product and platform team responsible for the set of video and audio calling experiences that power Meta Technologies. Meta says the new Calls tab is one of many features designed to create a space for people to deepen their relationships with others.
Meta has been working to enhance Messenger over the past few months and launched a number of new features. In March, the company added new features and shortcuts, including a new Slack-like “@everyone” functionality that will notify all participants in a chat about a new message. Meta also rolled out a “/silent” functionality. When you type in “/silent” before sending a message in a group chat, the members of the group will not receive a notification of your message at all.
In February, Messenger expanded its “Split Payments” feature to all iOS and Android users in the United States. The company began testing the feature late last year as a way for users to share the cost of bills and expenses through the app. Meta sees the new feature as a “free and fast” way to handle finances through Messenger. Split Payments was introduced alongside the news that Messenger was launching new voice message recording controls so users can pause, preview, delete or continue recording a voice message before sending it. The company also increased the duration of voice messages from one minute to 30 minutes.