Facebook challenges Apple's FaceTime with Messenger video calling

The social network is adding video calling, setting up face-to-face conversations between friends on mobile phones running either iOS or Android.

Facebook is strengthening its standalone Messenger app once again with a feature that could strike up competition with some tech industry foes.

The social network is adding video calling, setting up face-to-face conversations between friends on mobile phones running either iOS or Android.

Such support makes Facebook Messenger all the more appealing over some of the other video calling features on the market -- namely Apple FaceTime, which requires all participants to be running Mac or iOS devices.

Facebook continues to standby its push for spinning off popular features into standalone apps, a strategy that might have run into criticism initially.

But the numbers tell a different story, starting with each quarterly earnings report demonstrating continuing growth predominantly on mobile.

Furthermore, Facebook Messenger now accounts for more than 10 percent of all mobile VoIP calls globally, according to the Menlo Park, Calif.-headquartered company on Monday.

Messenger also boasts 600 million monthly active users worldwide, a sizable chunk (to say the least) of the overall base of more than 1.44 billion users on the platform.

Video calling on Messenger is launching today for users on iOS and Android devices in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.

Facebook promises to continue the roll out to more markets over the coming months.

Image via Facebook