A new app called CatchUp has been launched by the internal R&D group, NPE Team of Facebook. It will make it easier for friends and family members in the U.S. to coordinate phone calls and set up group calls with max 8 people.
The uniqueness of Catchup lies in the fact that the calls it enables are just audio-only. They are not video. It flags when users are available. Also, users don’t need a Facebook account to avail the service. The app operates with the contact list of your phone.
CatchUp is a bit inspired by Houseparty. In CatchUp users can update when they are available to talk by setting their status in the app. This is similar to a Houseparty video chat app that allows users to see who is live by sending notifications when friends open the app. They are flagged as ‘here’ in the app’s interface.
Users are showed “Ready to Talk” in the top section of its home screen. Offline users and other contacts are listed below.
Facebook said that the aim of the app is to know when people are available to talk. It is not known when someone has time to talk, thus this feature has its advantage. Also, the calls that can not be answered go to voicemails that recipients do not bother to check.