Free calling moves from Messenger to main Facebook iOS app

Want to call up your friends, but don’t have their cell number? Now as long as you both have the updated Facebook(s FB) 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(s AAPL) 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.