While the US and Canada already enjoy VOIP calling service from Facebook, the update is live in UK and slowly rolling out to other parts of Europe as well.
Facebook had updated their Messenger client on the iOS platform this January to support free VOIP calling for its US and Canadian customers and later extended the service to its Android users as well. While the US and Canadian users enjoy the free service, news this week is that the update is live in UK and is now slowly rolling out to other parts of Europe.
So how does the service work? In order to initiate a free call with your Facebook contact, tap the “i” button to get more information about your contact’s profile, and then press the Free Call button. The recipient will receive a push notification if he has installed Facebook Messenger on his device. If the recipient doesn’t have Facebook Messenger open or running in the background of their device, you can leave them a voice message to be picked up later. This call will consume either your data or Wi-Fi connection depending upon which one is active, and will also warn the user of the same before initiating the call.
It is understood that since Facebook is still testing the free voice-calling feature on a wider scale, there may be a few bugs that are yet to be ironed out. However, most users have not reported any serious issues apart from a few glitches here and there.
There is no need to update the Facebook Messenger app as the update is activated on the server. It should however be noted that this feature is not available for the main Facebook app right now.
Also, for those who are unaware, Facebook Messenger app on the Android platform in some countries such as Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Venezuela allows people with no Facebook account to sign up for the service with just a name and phone number.
If you haven’t already started using Facebook Messenger yet, here’s the link to download:
Alternatively, you can visit Facebook Messenger page and enter your cell number to receive the link as an SMS.