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Facebook Messenger is rolling out a new Calls tab just like WhatsApp's

Facebook Messenger Call Screenshots
Facebook Messenger Call Screenshots (Image credit: DigitalTrends)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp's new Calls tab borrows heavily from WhatsApp.
  • Meta says that people are making voice and video calls more and the new interface will make them easier to initiate.
  • The new change is rolling out to people now.

Meta is rolling out a new Calls tab for the Facebook Messenger app that is designed to make it easier for people to make audio and video calls. The new design takes a leaf out of WhatsApp's book and will be immediately familiar to users of the other Meta instant messaging service.

DigitalTrends reports that the new Calls tab is rolling out to people now and while it might not appear for everyone immediately, it's on its way. Meta believes that the change is a worthwhile one at a time when people are making more calls than ever thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and new working and living situations.

Meta said that the decision to add calling on the Messenger app's home screen is due to the rapid rise in audio and video calls that are done through the chat window of another user. It found that there are 40% more daily callers now compared to early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work from home and conduct meetings via video and audio. Messenger users worldwide conduct more than 300 million audio and video calls on a daily basis.

Facebook Messenger continues to borrow from WhatsApp in a way that will make the two apps more interchangeable than ever, at least for those who have the same contacts across both platforms. That should perhaps be no surprise given the fact they're both from the same company, of course. Both are among the best iPhone apps for staying in touch with friends and family.

It doesn't appear that there will need to be an app update for the new call tab to kick in, but everyone who doesn't yet have the Facebook Messenger app installed can download it for free (opens in new tab) right now.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.