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In an attempt to keep up with the booming development of text and voice messages, Facebook has released a significant update to its Messenger app, adding two new important features: free VoIP calls (currently Canada only) and the ability to send short voice messages when text just isn’t enough. The update is available for both iOS and Android.

Up until now, you could use Facebook Messenger to send text messages, emoticons and photos. With the new update, the app gains push-to-talk capabilities, and by using the new “Record Voice” button in the message compose screen, you can record short messages that are immediately sent to your friends. All you have to do is keep pressing the record button while you talk, and let go when you’re done. The app will do the rest.

But voice messaging, exciting as it is, is not groundbreaking. If you live in Canada, you’ll notice that aside from this new feature, you can see a small ”i” icon on the top right. This is Facebook’s new voice calling feature, which you can use for free over Wi-Fi, or from anywhere using your existing data plan. Want to call a friend for free? Open a conversation, click the ”i” button and select “Free Call”.

While only available for Canadians at this time, Facebook will probably spread VoIP calling to the rest of the world if it works well. VoIP is not a new feature generally, as many people probably already have Skype or Viber installed, but the ability to connect with your Facebook friends – and with a billion active users, most of our friends are on Facebook – can be huge. It remains to be seen how this new move will affect the growing Facebook-Skype integration we’ve been seeing in the past year.

Want to check it out? Download Facebook Messenger for iOS or Android.


Will you use Facebook’s calling features when they become available? Or will you stay with Skype or other existing options? Why?

Source: iTunes/Google Play via TheNextWeb

  1. Igor
    January 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Latest Facebook Messenger App update is really awesome. Voice messaging is exactly what we all waited for for so long. However there's still one thing missing. Members of numerous Facebook Groups and Events don't actually have a native tool for live voice conversations.

    We're trying to change this with GroupVox app that brings live voice messaging to existing Facebook Groups and Events. It feels natural to send voice notes to communities you're a part of, right from any iOS device, Android or using built-in web-based player on Facebook. All voice messages are stored on Group's Timeline and can be played anytime.

    Check it out at Google Play and at AppStore. It's free.

  2. Norbert Boehnke
    January 5, 2013 at 9:19 am


    But check out SAYTYA CALLER FOR FACEBOOK at It integrates VoIP PLUS real cellular calls (GSM/CDMA) and Messaging and already works worldwide (VoIP) and on GSM in Europe.

    SAYTYA uses a patented calling method for this.

    If VoIP turns sour due to small bandwidth, SAYTYA switches to the cellular network.

    So you can call an iPhone in Germany or Turkey from the US VoIP for free.

    Anywhere - anytime is the key for mobile calls. Otherwise it is just another SKYPE that only works when online.

  3. Félix S. De Jesús
    January 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Finally another app in which i can call... no excuses for calling a person who got you on fb.

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