Los Angeles – Earlier this month, flourishing social networking giant Facebook unfurled a limited beta of sorts that introduced voice messaging and voIP calling in Canada. Now, in a move that is sure to tempt its youth audience, Facebook gives away voice calls in its Messenger for iPhone app. Calling all teens and penny-pinchers, as U.S. Facebook Messenger users now have a brand new way to make free voice calls to their social network friends.
However, it seems that the testing of the feature went pretty well, because just two weeks later, Facebook is now launching free voice calling to iPhone users in the US. Also, the new capabilities will show up in Facebook’s Messenger app if it has not already.
Besides, the best part is, you doe not need to update the app through the iTunes App Store. Facebook will simply place the new feature in the app without any hassle. It is certainly a great feature for those who do not want to use up their minutes, or who do not have the phone number to one of their Facebook friends.
The new attribute, which is being released to the Facebook Messenger iOS app, requires Messenger users to open a conversation with another iPhone owner, tap the “i” button in the top right corner, and press “Free Call.” The recipient will then receive a pop-up notification that says, for example, “Stephanie Mlot is calling.”
But a caveat to those users without full functionality yet, the app reminds you that free calling is unavailable, and “You do not have permission to chat with this person” (see below).
That said, this is all part of a push that Facebook is making to better assert itself into the world of mobile communications. With free calling, Facebook has built itself a large enough straw to drink out of the fountain of youth. Teens carry around iPod Touches and smartphones with limited or shared voice and data plans. Even if texting is their first love, they probably still want to make actual phone calls on occasion.
As a matter of fact, Facebook’s offering seems better positioned to reach youngsters where it matters most: on a handset connected to their friends list. But sadly though, so far that is no word on an Android version of Facebook’s VoIP calling.