Facebook Messenger already allows for voice calls, but it seems that Facebook is testing out a new app called CatchUp that will also allow users to make audio-only calls. So what’s the difference? Why would there be a need for a new and separate app? With CatchUp, there will be one main difference: users can show their availability.
We’ve all made phone calls in the past where people sometimes don’t answer as they might not have heard the phone ring or if they’re busy, but since we don’t know that, we have to try our luck. However, with CatchUp, users will be able to set their talk status in the app to show if they’re available to receive calls.
According to Facebook, they explain that this is meant to overcome some of the limitations with phone calls, where people don’t know if they should call because they don’t want to interrupt the other person if they’re busy. By showing their availability status, it is implied that the user is not busy and can be reached via phone.
Facebook claims that the app has actually been in development for a while, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, they accelerated its development to help users stay connected with each other. CatchUp was developed by Facebook’s internal R&D team so whether or not it will become a mainstay product depends on how well-received it is. For now, it is only available in the US for both iOS and Android devices.