In case it isn’t embarrassing enough to realize you may have had one drink too many and sent your high school crush a gushing, nostalgia-filled message on Facebook the night before, the company is rolling out a new feature with its Messenger app —the ability to place voice phone calls over a WiFi network. So far the feature is only available for U.S. users so don’t get any ideas about calling your cousin in Australia.
Thus far it seems the service is also limited to iPhone users, but the likelihood that it’ll roll out to other platforms seems likely. Which, in effect, would make almost any phone a sort of Facebook phone.
This could be a boon for anyone who has cut down on voice minutes in favor of amped up data plans Especially for people who have very few minutes on their mobile plan but might have a high amount of data. Which begs the question, can you use it on your mobile network and not just WiFi?
Some reports like that from the Washington Post only mention the voice feature in relation to WiFi, but ostensibly if you’re willing to use up your data allotment you could use your mobile network to make a call as well. We’ll have to wait and see if/when Facebook announces the new service itself.
Here’s how it will work: Facebook users must of course, have the Messenger app for iOS installed on their phone. Then you simply hit the “i” info icon in the corner of any conversation you’re having or on your friend’s contact information page. If they have shared a mobile number with Facebook, you’ll be able to call them with the “Free Call” button.
Although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg keeps shooting down rumors of a Facebook phone, this could be a first step in that direction. A first, easy step that doesn’t involve any additional hardware to be developed, and instead just uses software.
Facebook Messenger app change allows free calls via WiFi [Washington Post]