ISLAMABAD-Social media giant Facebook has launched a desktop version of its Messenger app for Windows and Mac with free unlimited group video calls. It replicates some of the features of popular video conferencing service Zoom - already available on desktop - which is in the midst of a security and privacy crisis. The new desktop Facebook Messenger app is similar to the mobile version which launched for iOS and Android in 2011, with video calls being added in 2016. Facebook says it will offer group video calls on a larger screen to help people stay in touch with family and friends, workout together, or host a virtual happy hour.

The move comes as people around the world have to work from home, home-school their kids, and not go outside to help slow the spread of coronavirus. As a result, a number of video call and conferencing apps have risen in popularity - from Microsoft Teams for shared working to Zoom and Houseparty for group video.