Facebook Launches New Application Called “CatchUp” To Facilitate Group Phone Chats
Facebook’s NPE Experimental Team has released its sixth new app, this time focused on facilitating phone calls between friends who are ready to chat.
Called Catch up, the new application is essentially Messenger rooms for voice calls, providing the ability to see when your friends are online and ready for a voice call, as well as ongoing group chats that you can join.
According to app description:
“Catching up has never been easier. See who’s available and effortlessly join one-on-one and group calls. Never play phone tag or make an appointment to call someone. one again. Keep in touch more, think about it less. free to talk, CatchUp! “
So, yes, you can see who is active in the app, like Messenger, and join open group chats, like Messenger Rooms. It sounds pretty straightforward.
In the app, users can set their status to notify their connections when they are ready to talk and create groups to chat with. There is also an “auto-availability” feature that will automatically update your status when you are connected via Bluetooth.
It’s another way for people to connect – but of course you can already call people through Messenger anyway, with the added option of using video as well, if you want. As such, CatchUp’s only functional addition to Messenger is that you can see when people are specifically ready for an audio chat, so it doesn’t look like it provides enough utilities for a separate application, including you and your connections will then need to each download for it to be of real use.
But again, perhaps in areas where connectivity is limited and phone calls are the preferred means of connection, having the ability to see when people are open to voice chat will be beneficial. The app is currently being tested in the United States, both on iOS and Android.
Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye out for where Facebook’s NPE – or Experimentation with new products – the team is researching and on what trends it could seek to capitalize with its test applications. In this case, it could be a trending social app. Club house that Facebook is looking to follow – Clubhouse, an audio-only chat app, has gained popularity in some circles in recent weeks. Keen to avoid the disruption of another Snapchat, Houseparty or TikTok, Facebook’s NPE team seems determined to quickly launch apps that adapt to such a trend, with the goal of maximizing their popularity through scale. Facebook.
So far, NPE has launched six new apps in the past six months. These applications are:
- Pencil case – Provides extensive messaging options through Apple Watch
- Hobbi – Allows users to collect hobby pictures and sort them into tables to track personal development
- Whale – Allows users to create their own memes with simplified templates and tools
- TO THE – A participatory DJ app, where users try to get their song to a group playlist
- To bump – A chat app that aims to introduce students to other people in their neighborhood
And now CatchUp, making it easy to connect via voice calls.
There isn’t a specific theme for the different apps that NPE tries out, but you’d assume each is based on usage behavior, with Facebook looking to capitalize on the next key trend and stay ahead of the competition. .
Given the limited functionality of each beyond the apps that already exist and where users, critically, already have established networks, none of these new apps looks set to become a mainstay. But that might not be the intention either – Facebook may just be looking to collect information to inform other areas and tools.
In his explanation of the The NPE team, Facebook says that:
“We decided to create this separate developer name to help set the right expectations with people who, unlike Facebook’s family of apps, NPE team’s apps will change very quickly and shut down if we learn that they are not useful to people. Many failures are expected. We also want to minimize disruption for the billions of people who use Facebook apps every day. “
So each app might just be a little testing ground for a new feature in an existing Facebook app – so if notifications from friends who are ready for audio calls in Messenger become a thing, that just might be the reason.
What we do know for sure is that the NPE is certainly not wasting time – and maybe if they keep throwing ideas up the App Store wall, one will stick.