Facebook Launches Free Voice Calling Service For iPhone Users in US

Jan 17, 2013 05:51 AM EST

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

Facebook had announced at the beginning of this year that it was testing a free voice calling feature for its Messenger app and now, it seems the testing has been successfully completed. The social media giant has rolled out a service by which iPhone users in the U.S. can make free voice calls to other Facebook users using a Wi-Fi connection.

Follow us

First to bring out the new development, The Verge reported that the new service does not require any update through the App Store; rather, you can make a call by simply tapping on the name of the person you want to call from your conversation list, then select the "i" button on the top-right corner, and then tap Free call. The user, whom you want to make a call to, should also be using the Messenger for iOS app.

The "free voice call" roll out is a major milestone for Facebook as with this single feature, Facebook becomes one of the largest communities of VoIP users in the world, the report said. Testing the new service, The Verge said the call quality is as good as its competitors such as Skype, Vonage, and Viber.

"We started testing this in Canada the first week of the year and today we're extending that test to the U.S.," Facebook confirmed the news in an e-mail sent to Bloomberg Business Week. "We were able to expand the test so quickly because it went well in Canada and we wanted to expand the audience."

As the new feature arrives to iPhones, the U.S. users of the Apple flagship products can make free calls to other users via Wi-Fi or wireless network when they are on the go.

As Forbes' Robert Hof rightly notes, the new service will mark a change in the way people use Facebook because, with the recently launched Graph Search service and the new Free Voice Call, the social media Web site becomes more useful and informative than just entertaining.

A wide release of the free voice call feature (to Android and Windows phone users) will keep its 1 billion-plus user-base wedded to the service. In addition, the service will prove a strong attraction to the large pool of young users who often have limited voice or data plans.

Facebook is reportedly accelerating its efforts to bring this service to other mobile platforms and with the fact that nearly 60 percent of its members used mobile devices to access the Web site at the end of the third quarter, the potential reach of the service is quite large. Finally and most importantly, the free voice call service, which is all about better communication, can add value to what Facebook is all about - being social.

Facebook, however, did not elaborate on the international rollout of the service; neither did it offer more details on the VoIP calling through its Messenger app for Android or VoIP calling through the Web site.

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

© 2013 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Featured Video : Ericsson Announces World-Leading Launches Ahead of Mobile World Congress 2014

Join Our Conversation

Smartphones
Windows Phone 8.1 Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Developer Preview released – Get it now
Galaxy K Zoom unveiling: Samsung sends invites for April 29 event to ‘Kapture the Moment’
Age of Empires: World Domination coming this summer to iOS, Android & Windows Phone (VIDEO)
HTC One M8 headed exclusively to Verizon in Glamour Red avatar?
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Gadgets
Amazon LogoAmazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC LogoHTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google DowntimeGoogle blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
Adobe Lightroom MobileAdobe Lightroom mobile hits the iPad, coming soon to iPhones
Apple updates Mac iWork for iCloud suite – What’s new in Pages, Numbers and Keynote?
Microsoft launches Office for iPad, makes Office Mobile free on Android and iPhones
Twitter adds photo tagging, multiple photo sharing to iPhone and Android apps
Copyright © 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. mobilenapps