Mobile video chat code seen in new Facebook Messenger app

Facebook won't say if, or when, the chat feature might launch

Shortly after Facebook launched a Messenger app for smartphones on Tuesday, early users found partial code for a video chat component tucked away inside it.

Facebook Messenger was announced in a Facebook blog as a "faster way to message on mobile" for iPhone and Android smartphones.

Shortly after the app appeared, 9-to-5 Mac reported on the video component, noting it was "very rudimentary" code.

A Facebook spokeswoman would not add much information about when or even whether the mobile video chat capability might be launched, saying in an email: "We're always working on new features, but we don't have anything to announce at this time."

Video chat from smartphones was considered hot when Apple launched the capability in iPhone 4 last year, allowing connections when each iPhone 4 user was on Wi-Fi.

More recently, Google announced the Google+ social network with Hangouts, a group video chat experience that has received great reviews but doesn't yet work for smartphones, though other parts of Google+ work with Android and iOS.

A Google spokesman confirmed via email that Google+ doesn't currently support Hangouts from mobile devices.

Shortly after Google+ appeared in June, Facebook announced a Video Calling feature for its social network powered by Skype that works from several desktop browsers.

Despite intense interest in smartphone video chat, the experience can be disappointing. Chat quality usually depends on the speed of the wireless network connection, whether it is Wi-Fi or cellular, analysts have noted. A faster cellular network, perhaps 4G, is seen by many as one way to ensure better video chats.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about mobile apps and services in Computerworld's Mobile Apps and Services Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesGoogleFacebookAppleconsumer electronicsWeb 2.0 and Web AppsMobile Apps and Services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?