Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), the social media giant, has unveiled a new feature for United States users of its Messenger app on iPhone. The new feature enables iPhone users make free voice calls. The Verge, which took note of the new feature, confirmed the news with Facebook.
In order to launch a free call on Facebook, choose another user with whom you want to chat. Next, tap the ‘i’ on your profile and then the free call button. This call will be connected either through WiFi or cellular data connection. There will be a notification on the user’s mobile phone that he/she has an incoming call and will be able to receive it if he/she has Facebook app installed.
Presently, this free voice call feature is only available for United States and Canadian Facebook users with iPhones. Android phones do not have this feature yet.
This feature represents a new dimension for Facebook. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), with approximately one billion users in its graph, is sure to connect thousands of people by voice calls every day.
The competiton to Facebook here, can come from the carrier plan. Currently, the carriers are paying more attention to the usage of data plans than voice calls and text messages. If the new feature affects the plans of these carriers, they will do every possible effort to avoid losses, maybe by increasing the price of data plans. New services like messenger, iMessage and texting have sharply affected the voice calling.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) started testing this service in the early January, rolling it out first in Canada. This new feature may prove to be of vital significance for people with bad cell service and also for those users who want to save on phone minutes. The quality of the call is very good and definitely compares well with its competitors; Viber, Vonage, and Skype- who already provide this service, but cater to relatively much smaller base.
There was no further information from Facebook regarding international launch of service, the availability of the service for messenger or VoIP calling for websites.