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Summary:

Facebook released an update on Friday that will allow users to place calls through the app as long as both parties have the most recently updated version. The function previously existed in the Messenger app, but will now be available to everyone.

iphone camera
photo: jesus-leon

Want to call up your friends, but don’t have their cell number? Now as long as you both have the updated Facebook app it won’t matter — you’ll be able to talk to each other through Facebook. The social network had previously been testing a feature that would let users place calls to their friends through its Messenger app, and on Friday it updated the main iOS app to support calling functionality.

Facebook Messenger callTo access the calling feature, users can tap on the right-hand bar that supports messaging in the iOS app, select a person they want to call, and then check to see if that person has the “free call” feature listed under their profile (that can be found through the “i” information button next to their name).

Facebook’s support for placing calls over Wi-Fi is somewhat of a closed system since it’s limited to people who’ve downloaded the particular app, as my colleague Stacey Higgenbotham pointed out. But Facebook’s adoption of voice communication could have an impact on the current carriers if suddenly 1 billion users have a new way to talk to each other.

The company began testing the idea in Canada in January, and then added voice calling to Messenger in the United States a few weeks later.

  1. Richard E Tucker Sunday, February 24, 2013

    Sounds like a good move, and no doubt showed some promise on the standalone app.

    I wonder if Facebook will have a key advantage in already being an effective “address book” of who you want to call, and even better, you are more likely to only call when you know your contact is online (reducing the whole voice-mail tag scenario).

    A calling application with an accurate address book and user presence, without any effort, nice.

  2. Darren Robertson Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    EIther way , You can touch the phone number in the app and your Iphone will call it. SO whats the big deal here?

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