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400M people use Facebook Messenger audio and video calling each month

By Josh Constine From TechCrunch

Facebook’s push for video goes well beyond the News Feed. On today’s earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said 400 million people are making audio and video calls each month, up swiftly from 300 million in just September. That’s partly thanks to the December launch of multi-screen group video chat that looks similar to fast-rising startup Houseparty. Messenger is starting to become a VoIP giant like Facebook’s other chat app WhatsApp, which saw 100 million audio calls per day as of June.

Zuckerberg also reiterated Facebook’s plans for video content. He noted that Facebook is now investing in partners producing longer-form professional videos.

Meanwhile, in the effort to deliver high-speed internet to all of its users and everyone else in the world, Facebook says it’s connected 50 million people to the web, up from 40 million last quarter. Eventually, these efforts could pay off in terms of user growth and average revenue per user growth in the developing world. Video ads command the highest rates, and broadband access could help Facebook earn more from users in remote areas.

 Facebook’s video calling feature could put the squeeze on a wide array of competitors, including Google’s new Duo video chat app, Snapchat and Skype. Because Facebook is so ubiquitous, it can be more convenient than trying to set up a video chat with someone on other apps when you might not have their private phone number, email address or username. With Facebook, all you need is their name and you can talk face to face.


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