Facebook Launches Experimental Voice Call App 'CatchUp'

From PC Mag: Video chats are really having a moment right now. But whether you're still sporting bed head, on the move, or running low on monthly data allowance, not everyone wants (or can afford) face-to-virtual-face contact. Enter CatchUp.

The latest experiment from Facebook's (New Product Experimentation) NPE Team harkens back to the olden days, when phones were used simply for voice calls. CatchUp helps users stay in touch by showing when family and friends are available for a talk.

"Messaging and video calling are great ways to send a quick update or connect with someone," product lead Nikki Shah wrote in a blog announcement. "But speaking to someone over the phone offers a unique balance of both convenience and personal connection."

Toggle the switch at the top of the app to indicate your availability: "Ready to Talk" or "Offline." That way, Mom knows it's a good time to call without interrupting your workflow or downtime. Users can also coordinate or join a group chat for an audio-only party. There is no word on how many callers can join a call at once.

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