Forget the Facebook phone, make free calls via WiFi and Messenger on iOS devices

Forget the Facebook phone, make free calls via WiFi and Messenger on iOS devices

Summary: Facebook didn't announce a phone like some believed, but they did update the Facebook Messenger app so that iOS users can make free calls via WiFi in the US and Canada.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, iPhone
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Forget the Facebook phone, make free calls via WiFi on iOS devices

A couple days ago Facebook held an event where speculation was that they would announce a "Facebook phone". We know that the announcement ended up being their new Graph Search functionality and I have to say I personally never believed there would be a Facebook phone announcement and think that's a dead end. However, last night Facebook did release an update to Facebook Messenger for the iPhone that added free calling via WiFi between Facebook iOS users. You can already make free WiFi calls via other clients, such as Skype and Truphone, but Facebook has more users so there is the potential that this could be more important for Facebook users.

As you can see in my screenshot, the updated Facebook Messenger for iOS app adds a new Free Call button when you tap the "i" icon in the upper right of a conversation in Messenger. I discovered this updated application late last night and since none of my Facebook friends were up I couldn't test it out myself. According to the folks at The Verge, call quality is good and on par with other clients.

We have seen companies like HTC try to create a Facebook phone and Facebook has apps for every mobile platform. I don't see why Facebook would waste time trying to make its own phone and think we will just continue to see improvements in Facebook apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10. CNET put together some good reasons it makes little sense for Facebook to develop its own phone.

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPhone

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6 comments
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  • Facebook

    Facebook is the pinnacle of boring, plebeian, ultra-utilitarianism
    yt75
  • I saw this

    Looked at a few people I could test call with, and nobody had it enabled, which definitely blunted my enthusiasm.
    Mac_PC_FenceSitter
  • Who actually pays for voice anymore?

    The wireless providers have long since given up making any new revenue from voice calls. This is why you tend to start with a data plan with unlimited text and voice bundled in. And this only works over WiFi? Okay, so I guess you could theoretically dump your land line or VoIP service for this but I really don't see this as more than a novelty. It's fixing a problem that doesn't really exist (in my opinion). Consumers are complaining more about expensive smartphone plans and limits and costs on data, not feature phone voice plans.

    Whatever Zuckerberg.
    Gussy2000
  • Just popped in to say ...

    ... how little respect I have for bloggers who start with "Forget product A, use product B".
    The assumption that everybody conforms to (or should conform to) the same use-case as the author, and that a single product is better than a competitive market place.
    Arrogance, even assuming you've got the tech details right.
    radleym
    • And obviously you didn't read the entire article as Matt stated:

      " think we will just continue to see improvements in Facebook apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry 10. CNET put together some good reasons it makes little sense for Facebook to develop its own phone."

      So it looks to me as if most mobile platforms are listed. Not just one as you posted, radleym.

      Just because you don't like a certain platform or company, doesn't mean you should have the right to blast the author for something that's not true, just because you couldn't take 5 minutes to read the article....

      TW
      T-Wrench
  • Meh

    shall give it a try & check back...in the mean time peep these ledhelicopters.com :0)
    ledhelicopters