Facebook is testing a new app that's designed to help friends and families in the U.S. to coordinate phone calls or set up group calls with up to eight people.
"Catchup," built by Facebook's internal R&D group, differs from other group chat apps, in that the calls are audio-only, not video, and displays users' status to indicate they're available to talk.
Catching up has never been this easy. See who's available and effortlessly join one-on-one and group calls. Never play phone tag or make an appointment to call someone again. Keep in touch more, think about it less. Any time you're free to talk, CatchUp!
According to TechCrunch, the app appears to take cues from the recently highly popular Houseparty app. For its part, Facebook says the app was built so that people can make calls when they know the other person is free, because not knowing is "one of the key reasons people no longer make phone calls."
CatchUp won't need a Facebook account to use the service — the app works with your phone's contacts list. The app also gives users privacy settings so they can control who can join 1-on-1 and group calls.