Microsoft's Skype has more to worry about from Facebook Messenger now the social network has introduced group voice calling to its desktop application. This feature has been available on mobile since April, but Facebook is now pushing towards a desktop implementation. Speaking to TechCrunch, the company says it is currently in the testing phase.
This, of course, would ultimately give home and work PC users access to group voice calling directly in Facebook Messenger. Since the April launch on mobile, Facebook has been making the feature more robust for a wider release.
Facebook will undoubtedly see this has a very important development in its desktop messenger service. Simply put, users are moving away from mere text-based chats and are embracing voice and video calling. Being able to voice call in groups enhances the credentials of a messaging service, especially for business.
Indeed, Facebook Messenger for desktop is actually late to this particular party. Both Slack and Snapchat have added voice calling recently. WhatsApp offers video and voice calling, while Skype has voice, video, and group video calling.
In terms of core rivals, Snapchat and WhatsApp provide competition to Facebook because of their social orientation. As the most successful social network, it makes sense for Facebook Messenger to embrace true social communication beyond text chat. The next step would be for Facebook to embrace video calling for Messenger.
Pressure on Skype
The rise in Slack and a rising functionality seen in WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger means Skype is under more pressure. Microsoft's VOIP service now faces a slew of rivals in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive.
To help fight off Slack's growth, the company introduced Microsoft Teams, which integrates Skype and other services. There are certainly some users who believe Skype has not lived up to its early potential. Microsoft has continued to keep the service stocked with features, but with more competition it will be harder to be the pace setter.