U.S. Facebook Messenger users now have a brand new way to make free voice calls. Well, kind of free.
Facebook has begun the U.S. rollout of VoIP calling in their Messenger app, after testing the feature for nearly two weeks in Canada. The VoIP calling in Canada came along with an update to the app that saw all users gain support for voice messaging (which works a lot like Facebook voicemail). Facebook said that the VoIP calling would come to U.S. users if everything went over well, and apparently that's happened.
Sorry, Android users. It's currently only a Messenger for iOS thing.
To receive the VoIP calling functionality, simply open up your app. If the feature has been rolled out to you, you should see a "Free Call" button once you tap the "i" icon on the top right of open message threads. You don't have to download an update.
It is a "free" call, if you are using Wi-Fi. But the Facebook Messenger voice calling with also use cellular data when no Wi-Fi is present, so it will eat up your current data plan a bit.
Free VoIP calling isn't anything new, but it is pretty big news when it lands on a Facebook app. Of course, the benefits of using Facebook Messenger to make voice calls are that it's free with Wi-Fi and can be used anytime an internet connection is present - even if you're experiencing a vortex or terrible cell reception.
This is all part of a push that Facebook is making to better assert itself into the world of mobile communications. Last month, Facebook began allowing users to use Facebook Messanger for Android by simply signing up with a phone number with no Facebook account required. They also unveiled a new app called "Poke," which allows users to send convert video, photo, or text messages that self-destruct after a given period of time. Now, their Messenger app is a bigger player in the game with voice messaging and voice calling.[via The Verge]