Today Facebook has announced a new feature for its Messenger service. It’s called Instant Video. The social network says it’s « perfect for sharing quick moments with friends who aren’t right by your side or making your conversations richer by seeing each other face-to-face when you are messaging ».

Here’s how it works. If you have the latest version of the Facebook Messenger app for Android or iOS, then inside any conversation thread just tap on the video button in the top right corner. Once you do this, the friend you’re communicating with will instantly see you in a video that floats over the active text conversation (which you can continue while sending the live feed). Note that both you and your friend have to be viewing your Messenger conversation for the video to show up.

Audio is turned off by default, but you can turn it on once the video starts. Your friend can share a video back if they want to. This seems less like the concept of « video call » that we’ve been used to, and more like Facebook’s live video streaming feature, only in this case you’re broadcasting to just one person.


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