The company behind the world’s most popular social networking service continues to expand its operations and the company presented the third generation of its Portal video-calling devices and a new service that will allow businesses to deploy fleets of the devices to their employees. The company’s decision to unveil new video-calling devices once more highlights that Facebook is still bullish on such devices.
It expects that people will want to continue video chatting. Facebook unveiled its Portal devices in 2018. But it has not revealed any sales numbers. Many companies continue to delay a return to the office, the social media giant is capitalizing on a need to connect to colleagues and loved ones over video calls. Facebook has to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show and Google’s Nest Hub products in the home.
The company presented two models Portal Go and Portal+. The price of Portal Go is $199 and it is equipped with a 10-inch screen. It features a carrying handle as well as enough battery to last up to five hours of one-on-one calling via Messenger or 14 hours of listening with its screen off.
Menlo Park-based company also offers a more advanced device called Portal+ and the price of Portal+ is $349. It offers customers a 14-inch display that can be tilted forward and backward. Portal+ has a better sound quality than the first version according to the company.
Facebook and its devices
Models presented by Facebook on Tuesday cost more than the older models. As of September 2021, it is possible to buy a 10-inch Portal for $179. The price of the previous version of Portal+ was $279.
Facebook’s newest video-calling devices are available for pre-order starting Tuesday and will begin shipping to customers on October 19.
Apart from the third generation of its Portal video-calling devices, the company announced Portal for Business. Thanks to Facebook’s new service, small and medium businesses will be able to purchase, deploy, and remotely manage Portal devices for their workers. The new service will launch in beta in 2021 in the U.S. and will become more widely available next year.
Until the end of the year, Facebook will add Microsoft’s Teams work to Portal. Thus, customers will be able to use their devices to access their Teams calendars, contacts, file sharing, and chat functionality. Its video-calling devices already support other work apps like Zoom, BlueJeans, as well as Webex.