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Facebook launches App that lets you make free phone calls

financialexpress: CatchUp seems to be Facebook’s answer to Houseparty. It lets you make phone calls with friends and family without needing a Facebook account.

The internal R&D group of Facebook, the NPE Team, has launched a new app called CatchUp that makes it easier for friends and families ( in the US to begin with) to coordinate phone calls or set up group voice calls for up to 8 people.

While there are a number of group chat apps available to users today, what makes CatchUp unique is that it can tell you when users are available for chat, though you can do audio-only, not video calls. Moreover, CatchUp will not need a Facebook account to use the service — the app works with the list of contacts on your phone.

CatchUp does seem to take some inspiration from Houseparty because CatchUp users can specify when they are available to speak by setting their status in the app. This is similar to how the video chat app from Houseparty also lets you see who’s live by sending notifications when friends open the app and flagging them in the interface of the app as “here.”

Similarly, in the top section of its home screen, CatchUp displays users as “Ready to Chat,” with off-line users and other contacts listed below.

Facebook explains the intention of the app is to address one of the key reasons people don’t make phone calls anymore — they don’t know when someone has time to talk and don’t want to interrupt. Meanwhile, calls that can not be answered go to voicemails that don’t bother the recipients’ checking, which instead forces communication to go through text messaging or chat apps. And while video chats are on the rise, a phone call is often more convenient as users aren’t always ready for video, or try multi-tasking, not sitting in front of a screen.

CatchUp solves the issue of not knowing whether anyone is upset by a phone call by allowing you to see who is ready and willing to talk as soon as you open the device. As with other chat applications, users can also build and join groups of friends, relatives, and shared contacts within the device. Or as an alternative to using the phone, they may place 1-on-1 calls.

It’s as simple as placing a call. It’s just a one-button tap — not a complicated contact calling process, then “merging” calls as you do with the Phone app on your smartphone.

Facebook discusses the idea for the app that originally came up before the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent quarantine, but as a result of the pandemic, the NPE team has accelerated the production of the app.

While there are simple ways to make voice calls using the Facebook-owned Messenger and WhatsApp apps, the difference is that CatchUp operates with contacts from your phone. Users will need to download the app, but they don’t need to have an existing Facebook account — or any Facebook-owned company account.

The app also provides privacy features that allow you to customize which contacts would be allowed to access your 1-on-1 and group calls. The app comes from the NPE Team of Facebook, its internal R&D group focused on new app concepts that are launched without the benefit of being connected to Facebook. These apps need to stand alone and gain traction so they can stay alive.

Source: Published by financialexpress

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Omenogor Lucky
Omenogor Lucky
1 month ago

That’s really nice from Facebook.

Edward
Edward
1 month ago

Wow. Nice

Chima franklyn
Chima franklyn
1 month ago

Good innovation from Facebook

John Orobosa
John Orobosa
1 month ago

This is absolutely commendable. More wit to the facebook community. Over the years there has been constant update on relevant issues on facebook and it’s really nice.

Nwawuba Emmanuel Chibueze
Nwawuba Emmanuel Chibueze
1 month ago

Thats really nice, kudos to Facebook

Tobi Samuel
Tobi Samuel
1 month ago

This is nice

ojelabi babatunde
ojelabi babatunde
1 month ago

that was a good initiative by facebook, but network may be the problem……….

Oghenekome Sylvester
Oghenekome Sylvester
1 month ago

Nice development, Sad Nigerians can’t use it yet.

PEDRO
PEDRO
1 month ago

Wow that’s very good one from Facebook

Idris yayah
Idris yayah
1 month ago

Welcome development, kudos to Facebook CEO.

Uzomacomfort
Uzomacomfort
1 month ago

Quiet interesting. Kudos to Mark Zuckerberg

Nnorom Nzenwa
Nnorom Nzenwa
1 month ago

Good innovation

Adewole olatunde samuel
Adewole olatunde samuel
1 month ago

It is a great innovation coming from Facebook. Can’t wait for dem to bring it to Nigeria

Adepoju oluwapelumi
Adepoju oluwapelumi
1 month ago

Wow, this really nice from Mark Zuckerberg

Abdulwahab Shayau
Abdulwahab Shayau
1 month ago

This is a very good development, thank you Mark

Olayinka Njoku
Olayinka Njoku
1 month ago

Awesome…. kudos to Facebook

Obiezu Emmanuel Onyedikachi
Obiezu Emmanuel Onyedikachi
1 month ago

This is really great from Facebook. They are still making Facebook to be better i love that

Ikechukwu Harry Osadebe
Ikechukwu Harry Osadebe
1 month ago

Wow that’s is very great.so users can make calls for free.i just hope the terms and conditions are not much

Emmanuel Aso otisi
Emmanuel Aso otisi
1 month ago

Not still available to Ali of country but this is a good move from Facebook

Chukwuka Obiosa
Chukwuka Obiosa
1 month ago

Not good enough just the same like messenger and will require strong network to call

ogunjemiyo Akinlami
ogunjemiyo Akinlami
1 month ago

Its a welcome development from Facebook to make calls free hope they will not be charging money at a later on

Ekigho Grace
Ekigho Grace
1 month ago

Wooooooooooow this is so cool,I love it I hope it works though

Mohammed Nma Madiwu
Mohammed Nma Madiwu
1 month ago

Facebook is also promote nice work

Lokrit yilchini gomper
Lokrit yilchini gomper
1 month ago

This is awesome.. this app will really help during quarantine

Anyaechem Benedict
Anyaechem Benedict
1 month ago

Is a welcome development to all the Facebook families but let them not increase the charge while using the Facebook

Emeghurhie Peter
Emeghurhie Peter
1 month ago

This is great innovation and it will help communication to be very easy and affordable to users

Osuji Caleb ikechi
Osuji Caleb ikechi
1 month ago

That’s interesting news coming from facebook

Ayodeji Adeniyi
Ayodeji Adeniyi
1 month ago

This is great and good news

Felicia Moses
Felicia Moses
1 month ago

Wow o, that nice

Oluwaseun Elugbaju
Oluwaseun Elugbaju
1 month ago

That is Good from Facebook

Matthew chinedu
Matthew chinedu
1 month ago

They are really trying

JOSEPH VICTOR MOSES
JOSEPH VICTOR MOSES
1 month ago

I love this this really help this is a great wisdom and knowledge

Dele Braimoh
Dele Braimoh
1 month ago

Interesting

ikechukwu
ikechukwu
1 month ago

wow this is a wonderful development from facebook

Ndumnwere Chima
Ndumnwere Chima
1 month ago

Great improvement for facebook.

Suleiman Abdullahi
Suleiman Abdullahi
1 month ago

Great development

Onafuwa Oluwasheyi Oladipo
Onafuwa Oluwasheyi Oladipo
1 month ago

That’s a good one from Facebook

Oladele Akinola Oludare
Oladele Akinola Oludare
1 month ago

Good one there. Facebook

Ajagu Joseph Samson
Ajagu Joseph Samson
1 month ago

That’s interesting

Nelson Joseph
Nelson Joseph
1 month ago

Waw this is great news I can’t wait to add the app

Ade Roju
Ade Roju
1 month ago

Good job of facebook

Tosin ogunsuyi
Tosin ogunsuyi
1 month ago

It’s very interesting

Olawoore Tesleem
Olawoore Tesleem
1 month ago

This is really a great idea from Facebook team.

Adisa Taiwo
Adisa Taiwo
1 month ago

Nice upgrade for Facebook, awesome

Fatima Abdullahi
Fatima Abdullahi
1 month ago

Wow, kudos to facebook

adubi oluwafemi samuel
adubi oluwafemi samuel
1 month ago

Wow that is nice

Ajagbe Olufemi
Ajagbe Olufemi
1 month ago

That’s a great news

Olalekan Ogunlowo
Olalekan Ogunlowo
1 month ago

Until it is available in other countries.

Maureen Eric
Maureen Eric
1 month ago

Nice one

Pablo chidiebere
Pablo chidiebere
1 month ago

That will be awesome,great improvement