If you have and iPhone and WiFi, you can now make free calls using Facebook’s Messenger app on iPhone
Though it wasn’t announced in any great manner, on Jan. 16 Facebook launched their latest feature for iPhone users in the United States and Canada. Facebook’s latest feature for the Messenger app on iPhone now allows you to make iPhone to iPhone calls, at no charge. The feature requires no user intervention to get the feature as it began being rolled out to users this past weekend. This latest free iPhone Wi-Fi calling feature is said to work well and to have a quality superior to even the cellular network carriers, for users using the app-to-app calling.
Although Facebook users with iPhones will probably be very fond of this latest features, mobile service providers such as Verizon, AT&T and others can’t be too excited about this. In essence it means that users can totally circumvent using the minutes they may have on their carriers monthly service and connect with any number of the millions of other Facebook / iPhone users at no cost whatsoever. This isn’t the first time Facebook has stepped on the toes of mobile service carriers. In 2011, Facebook got together with Skype to offer a video based VoIP service that integrates directly into the Facebook ecosystem of services, allowing people to talk and see one another for free during their Facebook time.
Currently the new iPhone Messenger only works on iPhones and each person using the free service must have the Facebook Messenger app installed on the phone in order to share the calls. Of course, with the immense popularity of Facebook and most people having accounts, it gives nearly everyone in North America with an iPhone an opportunity to take advantage of the free offer.
Overall, as this relates back to Facebook, this latest feature seems to work well in to Facebook’s goal at having everything revolve around their network. The latest Graph Search (see Conduct Searches While In Facebook“) is just another recent example of Facebook’s developmental efforts at building an ecosystem of services that attempts to provide everything a user may possibly need, in order to keep them tied into the Facebook world.
Rumors last year had it that Facebook was developing a mobile phone that would work based around their system. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denounced the idea and had said that doing such is “so clearly the wrong strategy for us”. It appears as though what people thought to be the development of a Facebook phone, has turned out to be the evolution of the current Facebook Messenger app for iPhone, but more than likely coming to just about any phone imaginable in the near future.
The latest Facebook’s Messenger app on iPhone is available here: http://www.facebook.com/appcenter/fbmessenger