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Facebook to take on Apple's FaceTime-audio with CatchUp

Facebook has announced yet another group-calling app called CatchUp. The new app by Facebook is an audio-calling app that lets you add up to eight people in a single call.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti New Delhi Last Updated: May 27, 2020 | 14:29 IST

Highlights

  • Facebook has announced yet another group-calling app called CatchUp.
  • The new app by Facebook is an audio-calling app that lets you add up to eight people in a single call
  • Catchup by Facebook is being touted as a rival to Apple’s FaceTime audio calling feature

Facebook has announced yet another group-calling app called CatchUp. The new app by Facebook is an audio-calling app that lets you add up to eight people in a single call. Catchup by Facebook is being touted as a rival to Apple's FaceTime audio calling feature but unlike FaceTime, the app can only be used for making audio calls. The app is being developed by Facebook NPE.

Facebook claims that the app lets users set their statuses to "ready to talk" and "offline". "Keeping in touch with friends and family is important, especially during this time of physical distancing. Messaging and video calls are great ways to send a quick update or connect with someone face-to-face, but speaking to someone over the phone offers a unique balance of both convenience and personal connection. Based on our studies, we found that one of the main reasons people don't call friends and family more frequently is that they don't know when they are available to talk or are worried they may reach them at an inconvenient time. CatchUp addresses this problem, and even makes group calling as easy as one tap, " Facebook said in a blogpost.

For using Catchup, you don't need to have an account on Facebook. It will derive your connections from your phone's contact list, the permission to access the contact list has to be given first.

The CatchUp app has two advantages over the other audio-calling apps, it can let users indicate that they are available to talk and call close friends and family members who are also available in the app. Catchup also lets people add multiple people at once.

The CatchUp is being currently tested in the US currently and it will be gradually rolled out for iOS and Apple users. However, Facebook also mentioned in the blog that NPE apps are experimental, subject to change, and adhere to Facebook's Terms of Service, Data Policy, and NPE Team Supplemental Terms.

Earlier, Facebook unveiled the video-calling platform called Messenger Rooms. The app allows over 50 people to join a call and it rivals the likes of Zoom and Google Meets. Some reports also stated that Facebook is also planning to integrated Messenger Rooms into WhatsApp and the feature is currently under development.

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