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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:00 PM   #1
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Facebook Messenger App Updated With Voice Messages, Testing VoIP Calling in Canada




Facebook will update its Facebook Messenger app later today, adding two significant new voice-related abilities, reports The Next Web. The first will allow Facebook users to record a voice message to send to friends in addition to the standard text and photo messages.

The second is potentially more significant -- though is currently in limited beta testing for Canadian iOS users only. Facebook users will now have the option to make a VoIP phone call from one user to another.

Quote:
Facebook has also said it will also begin the beta testing of a new VoIP calling feature within its iOS Messenger app, allowing users to establish a peer-to-peer connection and make calls without making a dent in their call allowance (although it will use existing data plans).

The only drawback is that voice calls (messages are available to all) will be available to Canadian users of the iOS Messenger app at launch.

To use the service, Canadian users will be able to log into their Messenger app, open a conversation with the person they want to call, hit the 'i' button in the top-right corner and selecting 'Free Call.' To send and receive calls, users will need to have the latest version of the app that is available today.
Facebook's efforts create a calling system that can potentially reach its more than 1 billion users, providing a massive competition to other VoIP services like Skype.

Facebook Messenger for the iPhone is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]

A previous version of this article said it was the Facebook iOS app that was updated. It is the standalone Facebook Messenger app that gained the new voice features.

Article Link: Facebook Messenger App Updated With Voice Messages, Testing VoIP Calling in Canada
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:03 PM   #2
ajvizzgamer101
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OMG, Facebook Phone is coming! FB Stock is going to go through the roof.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:03 PM   #3
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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Insanely useless.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:05 PM   #5
GekkePrutser
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Sounds like a cool addition (and the opportunity for Facebook to monitor even more of our lives, not sure if I like that ). I'm not in Canada but I probably wouldn't use it much (just like I don't use Facetime even though it's free).

But I never really understood why they have so many different apps, Facebook itself, messenger, photos and pages. You can do everything inside the main app as well and it's much handier because you don't have to switch all the time.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:06 PM   #6
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Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.
Canada = North America - (Mexico + (AT&T + Verizon + Sprint + T-MobileUSA))
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:14 PM   #8
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So I can use my phone as a phone? Hmm... this changes everything.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:48 PM   #9
Otterblue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.
Because over half our population is on Facebook
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:54 PM   #10
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for once canadians get dibs on something first LOL
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.
I was expecting that response. If it was flagged as "US-only", which is very common for such services in beta, I betcha nobody in the US would think twice.

It's probably limited to Canada due to a smaller test market. Canada has just as mature, but smaller, market as the US, so it's a good testing ground. And maybe there's a Canadian company assisting Facebook with the implementation. (but not RIM, haha)

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northgrove View Post
Wow, I can't even imagine how much processing power and bandwidth that would be required at the Facebook data centers to handle a billion voice calls, if this would roll out worldwide some day.

----------


It's possible it's intentional to reduce coverage while they're trialling the service and infrastructure. A scaling / stress test perhaps?
Skype uses a peer-to-peer system, and I expect Facebook will too. Only Apple chooses to channel everything through their own servers, but not sure if that has changed with iMessage and FaceTime.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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The situation they are portraying on that photo is stupid. Surely a maps link or even... Typing(!) is easier. Or just use Siri
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:10 PM   #13
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Wow, I can't even imagine how much processing power and bandwidth that would be required at the Facebook data centers to handle a billion voice calls, if this would roll out worldwide some day.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by baryon View Post
How come this isn't compatible with desktop Facebook? They're not going to reach 1 billion users if they only provide their feature for mobile users.
It's possible it's intentional to reduce coverage while they're trialling the service and infrastructure. A scaling / stress test perhaps?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 11:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by GekkePrutser View Post
But I never really understood why they have so many different apps, Facebook itself, messenger, photos and pages. You can do everything inside the main app as well and it's much handier because you don't have to switch all the time.
They roll out new features in the standalone apps, get some testing done, then when it's smooth roll it out into the main app. That's what the messages and camera app have both done.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 12:01 AM   #15
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There are several reasons why they are probably testing in Canada first.
1. The market is smaller so they can test on a smaller scale.
2. Canadians are more polite.
3. Canadians have less of a sense of entitlement.
4. Canadians still have more consumer confidence to "spend" money as the "downturn" did not affect Canada as badly as the US.
5. The cellular infrastructure in Canada is more robust than a lot of markets in the US.

When I was down in Vegas in the first half of December, I noticed that there were a lot of fellow Canadians there at the time. Canadians are travelling and spending more than Americans are right now and Facebook is ultimately an advertising platform much like the "free" google services. I'm surprise that Apple and Google have not thought of trials for services here in Canada as well.
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 12:23 AM   #16
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it works in mexico out of the box
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Old Jan 4, 2013, 09:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristotle View Post
There are several reasons why they are probably testing in Canada first.
1. The market is smaller so they can test on a smaller scale.
2. Canadians are more polite.
3. Canadians have less of a sense of entitlement.
4. Canadians still have more consumer confidence to "spend" money as the "downturn" did not affect Canada as badly as the US.
5. The cellular infrastructure in Canada is more robust than a lot of markets in the US.
1. makes sense.

2. 3..... hahaha, you know what they say about the grass uh ? Seriously, Canadians are no different from Americans in those regards.

4. makes no sense, this is a free service.

5. Is also quite laughable (there are quite a few dead spots in the Montreal downtown area and signal strength isn't always good when travelling major roads around the suburbs. Our cellular infrastructure is no better than AT&T's or Verizon's.

The reason for testing this in Canada is simple. You said it first, the market is smaller, but also, our carriers don't tend to give out big data plans. The biggest we can get as far as I know is a 6GB plan (what I have) and usually, carriers use that as a last ditch effort to keep you subscribe. Usually data plans, for around 10$-20$/month are between 500 MB and 1 GB.

Try doing VoIP and all your other stuff using that.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by locust76 View Post
makes it kind of seem like "We're sorry, but Canadians are using this thing too, so apologies to anyone who has the misfortune of talking with a Canadian."
Well, good thing no one will have the misfortune of talking to Canadians then heh ? Since it's only Canadians that are going to be talking to each other.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:06 PM   #18
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Over the cell network or wifi only I wonder...?
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:07 PM   #19
Sony311
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And how much Data does it take per second on a conversation I wonder?

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Originally Posted by trekkie604 View Post
Over the cell network or wifi only I wonder...?


----------

Yay for Canada! Beta testers unite!


Quote:
Originally Posted by abz1981 View Post
Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by trekkie604 View Post
Over the cell network or wifi only I wonder...?
Nice way to boost your data bill for sure.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:11 PM   #21
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Nice way to boost your data bill for sure.
Well it's use the 6GB data bucket or get dinged for inter-country long-distance by the Telco. Even calling within my home province of British Columbia, we get charged long distance...
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:20 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by trekkie604 View Post
Well it's use the 6GB data bucket or get dinged for inter-country long-distance by the Telco. Even calling within my home province of British Columbia, we get charged long distance...
Get a better plan dude. Everyone is offering nationwide calling (big thanks to Wind and Mobilicity for that one).

I get unlimited social networking (not uncommon from the big 3). I wonder how long before they pull the plug on that thanks to this voice calling.
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:21 PM   #23
///M5
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And oh, fix the "WIth".
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 06:38 PM   #24
trekkie604
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Get a better plan dude. Everyone is offering nationwide calling (big thanks to Wind and Mobilicity for that one).

I get unlimited social networking (not uncommon from the big 3). I wonder how long before they pull the plug on that thanks to this voice calling.
Unfortunately those nationwide plans bundle data. Only 2GB, I'm not giving up my 6GB
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Old Jan 3, 2013, 05:29 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by trekkie604 View Post
Well it's use the 6GB data bucket or get dinged for inter-country long-distance by the Telco. Even calling within my home province of British Columbia, we get charged long distance...
Fair enough. One day we'll be on data only contracts I guess.
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