Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is enhancing their iOS messenger app for users in the United Kingdom by adding a Voice Over Internet Protocol(VOIP) feature. Facebook already set up the VOIP features for American and Canadian users. This new feature will allow Facebook users the ability to opt for phone calls instead of the messenger.
The Facebook messenger application is different from the regular Facebook app and this new feature is available exclusively to the messenger app.
The messenger app also features a photo button, camera button, and a record toggle feature that users can push to hold and record messages. This new feature is really Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)’s answer to Skype, a popular instant messaging and internet phone service. It could also go against mobile network operators thanks to it’s sheer size.
Facebook has about one million users in the United Kingdom alone and that would open up another significant option for internet voice. The only downside to this is that although it may save on voice plans, it won’t do much to save on data plans.
Naturally, this app upgrade is exclusive for iOS. There is no word on if or when Android users will receive an upgrade but it’s likely to follow suit sometime in the near future.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) isn’t the only tech company who’s making a push for VOIP-featured mobile applications. Late last year, BlackBerry started allowing BBM 7 users to make voice calls through their messenger app.
VOIP has quickly become a popular trend in the tech industry as a viable alternative to landline phones. We would expect to see VOIP services grow and continue to catch on. There may come a time when VOIP becomes the standard and mobile phone carriers are quick to jump on the bandwagon with their own VOIP services.