Facebook launches desktop version of Messenger from nowhere

Messenger desktop
FILE PHOTO: Attendees walk past a Facebook Messenger logo. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc on Thursday rolled out the desktop version of its Messenger app for Apple’s Mac and Microsoft’s Windows to make video chats available on computer screens for Facebook users.

The move comes as use of videoconferencing apps like Zoom have soared, with corporate offices, school districts, organizations and millions across the world working from home after lockdowns were enforced to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Facebook had announced the plan for the desktop version last year, while unveiling steps to refashion itself into a private messaging company.

The social network on Thursday noted that it saw more than a 100% jump in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger over the past month.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Editor: Although announced last year, one has to ask how long Facebook has had the desktop version of Messenger ready in the wings and, if so, why it wasn’t launched earlier. Facebook has for a long time concentrated its efforts on mobile but seeing the boom in Zoom usage may have been the trigger in the battle for market share. Maybe the coronavirus driven work-from-home migration has proven the big screen computers and laptops are not dead yet.

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