Facebook launches CatchUp, an audio-only calling app that shows whos ready to chat now

Facebooks internal R&D group, NPE Team, has today launched a new app called CatchUp that makes it easier for friends and family in the U.S. to coordinate phone calls or set up group calls with up to 8 people. While there are a number of group chat apps available to users today, what makes CatchUp unique is that the calls it enables are audio-only, not video, and it flags when users are available. In addition, CatchUp wont need a Facebook account to use the service the app works with your phones contacts list.
CatchUp does seem to take some inspiration from Houseparty, in that users in CatchUp can designate when theyre available to talk by setting their status in the app. This is similar to how Housepartys video chat app also lets you see whos live, by sending out notifications when friends open the app and flagging them as here in the apps interface.
Similarly, CatchUp shows users as Ready to Talk in the top section of its homescreen, with offline users and other contacts listed below.
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