New Facebook App Helps People ‘CatchUp’ via Voice Calls

Friends and loved ones can let each other know they are available to talk

Group calls can be coordinated with one tap Facebook NPE Team

The latest experimental application from the Facebook NPE Team is CatchUp, which is being tested with Android and iOS users in the U.S.

CatchUp was developed as a way for friends and family to let each other know that they are available for voice conversations, as well as to help coordinate group calls.

Facebook NPE Team

Product lead Nikki Shah said in a blog post, “Keeping in touch with friends and family is important, especially during this time of physical distancing. Messaging and video calling are great ways to send a quick update or connect with someone face-to-face, but speaking with someone over the phone offers a unique balance of both convenience and personal connection. Based on our studies, we found that one of the main reasons people don’t call friends and family more frequently is that they don’t know when they are available to talk or are worried that they may reach them at an inconvenient time. CatchUp addresses this problem, and even makes group calling as easy as one tap.”

The Facebook NPE Team—the NPE stands for “New Product Experimentation”—released Apple Watch app Kit, which simplifies Messenger From Facebook on the device, and iOS app Tuned, which creates a private place for couples to share content with each other, in April.

Pinterest-influenced Hobbi debuted in February, following three apps that were released last November: Bump, a one-on-one anonymous chat app based on conversation topics and geared toward college students; Aux, also aimed at college students, described as a “DJ for Your School”; and meme-creation app Whale. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.