Facebook Launches Caller ID Feature for Messenger

The capabilities of Facebook Messenger continue to grow, as the company announced Thursday that it is rolling out a caller ID feature for the app. The new feature is aimed at helping Messenger users know more about who is trying to connect with them.

Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus announced the new feature in an update on his Facebook page. "Now you'll have context about the people contacting you on Messenger with a bigger photo and more details about how you're related, and much more," he said.

The caller ID feature adds details about people from their public information on Facebook. In addition to a profile photo, for instance, it might also display information about where someone lives as well as the individual's occupation. The feature is currently available on Android and iOS devices for users in the U.S., the U.K., France and India.

Benefits for Business Users

Facebook has been rolling out a slew of new Messenger features this year, as well as other communication apps. Last month, for example, it launched an Android app called "Hello" that shows a user a caller's Facebook profile information when the phone starts ringing. Shortly after that, it also introduced video calling for Messenger, which enables Android and iOS users to launch video chats with one tap from any previous Messenger conversation.

Messenger also made its debut as a standalone app -- Messenger.com -- in April, moving it beyond its previous home on Facebook's pages. The company said the standalone version makes it easier for users to focus exclusively on their communication with others and reduce potential distractions from other Facebook features such as the News Feed.

Such enhancements are clearly appealing to Facebook's business users, in particular, as distraction-free messaging and caller ID can help boost productivity. In fact, the company...

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