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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:26 PM   #1
MacRumors
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Facebook Messenger Now Supports Voice Calling for U.S. Accounts




Earlier this month, Facebook updated its Messenger iOS app with beta support for making VoIP calls between Facebook accounts. That feature was initially limited to Canadian iOS accounts but is now being opened to all U.S. accounts, reports The Verge.

To access voice calling, open the Facebook Messenger app, open a chat with someone, and click the 'i' button in the top right corner. If the feature has been activated -- and the other user also has Facebook Messenger for iOS installed -- there should be a "Free Call" button. If it's greyed out, try tapping it anyway. Facebook is rolling out the feature to all users over the next several days.

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What this means is that if you live in the US, you can now call other Facebook users for free over Wi-Fi or using your phone's data connection while you're on the go. When you call someone, a push notification appears on their screen that says "Ellis Hamburger is calling," for example. The feature is especially critical for people with bad cell service at work or at home, and for those who want to conserve cell phone minutes. It's also a huge step for Facebook -- which with a single feature emerges as one of the largest communities of VoIP users in the world. Yes, competitors Viber, Vonage, and Skype have had the feature for some time, but all have much smaller user bases.
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, as well as allowing teenagers using iPod touch devices to make phone calls to friends using Facebook's app.

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

Article Link: Facebook Messenger Now Supports Voice Calling for U.S. Accounts
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:27 PM   #2
Aidan5806
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Where its the dang ipad app!?!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:29 PM   #3
MrDc2
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Skype is going down...
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:29 PM   #4
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Wow, this is huge. inb4 cell phone companies block this capability.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:33 PM   #5
theBB
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Yes, competitors Viber, Vonage, and Skype have had the feature for some time, but all have much smaller user bases.
Skype's user base is quite substantial. Unfortunately, call notifications were not reliable unless Skype was already one of the semi-active apps during the few times I tried over time. I eventually gave up, so I don't know if it has improved since summer.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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Nice move.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:41 PM   #7
CGagnon
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Why not just use FaceTime?
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:42 PM   #8
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Rumors of our editor never smiling are obviously false..

Back on topic, I am looking forward to this for some contacts, however the ability for more people to call me (I have too many people on my FB) is going to get annoying. Thankfully we can still remove our phone Numbers from our friends view, at least we can currently.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:42 PM   #9
Ichabod.
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Good to see more implementation of this feature in spite of AT&T's frustrating policies.

Of course, I'd actually need a facebook account to use this, but it's a step in the right direction.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:44 PM   #10
ineedanewwallet
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Originally Posted by CGagnon View Post
Why not just use FaceTime?
Because, and here's a big surprise, not everyone wants to make a video call...
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:48 PM   #11
ThirteenXIII
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Originally Posted by CGagnon View Post
Why not just use FaceTime?
from my understanding it can be used on different platforms? or is it just iOS?
same convenience through a different interface

does this work over cellular? if so, people with unlimited data may be able to take advantage of it..
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:49 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ineedanewwallet View Post
Because, and here's a big surprise, not everyone wants to make a video call...
Plus the fact that Skype holds a connection better than FaceTime does is pretty emberassing for Apple. My sister told me about it when she tried iPhone 5 to iPhone 5 with her friend, I thought it must have been a rare problem but then I tried with my iPhone 4S and the connection kept cutting out with an error message. Tried Skype right after, no error messages or black screens, the video might have been a bit choppy but it kept the connection at least.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:50 PM   #13
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Another thing to add to the 'download archive of your Facebook data'? "Download all past calls and voice mails..." that have been conveniently recorded for you.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:53 PM   #14
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Nice move.
More privacy-loving crap from Mark Sugarloaf? No, thanks.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:53 PM   #15
nutmac
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Originally Posted by MrDc2 View Post
Skype is going down...
Skype is still holding on to the fact that it has perhaps the best voice quality of all free voice chat apps.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:55 PM   #16
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I was thinking if sometime in the future apple would make a calling service like iMessage where you wouldn't have to pay. would be pretty cool.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:55 PM   #17
ProVideo
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I can't wait for Facebook to announce they are changing their TOS agreement so that they have the right to use your voice calls for any commercial use they see fit.

Entrusting phone calls and any other personal information to Facebook is like trusting a convicted child molester to develop photos of your kids. You might get the desired results, but if you saw what they did with your data in the process, you would likely feel sick and regret it.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:57 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ProVideo View Post
I can't wait for Facebook to announce they are changing their TOS agreement so that they have the right to use your voice calls for any commercial use they see fit.

Entrusting phone calls and any other personal information to Facebook is like trusting a convicted child molester to develop photos of your kids. You might get the desired results, but if you saw what they did with your data in the process, you would likely feel sick and regret it.
That's the price you pay for free.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:58 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGagnon View Post
Why not just use FaceTime?
Nobody uses FaceTime


And not everyone has an iPhone

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProVideo View Post
I can't wait for Facebook to announce they are changing their TOS agreement so that they have the right to use your voice calls for any commercial use they see fit.

Entrusting phone calls and any other personal information to Facebook is like trusting a convicted child molester to develop photos of your kids. You might get the desired results, but if you saw what they did with your data in the process, you would likely feel sick and regret it.
Okay that won't happen

I can't wait for apple to record your keystrokes

Please let me borrow your tin foil hat
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 04:59 PM   #20
pookynubber
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Be Free?

so does this mean the end of the crappy pricing strategies? first it was minimal minutes, then they tried to overcharge on messages (cause it used SO SO much data) then they tried to limit facetime and data....

they will want to get their money somehow but does this mean we can just use an iPhone with only a data connection? they exist but it's hard to get on one.... i believe they exist for folks that aren't able to here..
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:00 PM   #21
nepalisherpa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGagnon View Post
Why not just use FaceTime?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ineedanewwallet View Post
Because, and here's a big surprise, not everyone wants to make a video call...
LOL...and not everyone has an iPhone!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:07 PM   #22
pookynubber
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solution

so i could use the Sprint plan with UNLIMITED data with my iPhone 5. 40 per month? awesome. i currently only pay $50/month for unlimited data but 500 minutes. i guess i'd be able to use skype for companies and such....hmmmm
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:07 PM   #23
Kissaragi
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Originally Posted by nutmac View Post
Skype is still holding on to the fact that it has perhaps the best voice quality of all free voice chat apps.
Better than my landline at home in fact.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:08 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by wordoflife View Post
I was thinking if sometime in the future apple would make a calling service like iMessage where you wouldn't have to pay. would be pretty cool.
Nah. Even the Facebook app is not all that exciting. How many people still have minute based calling plans? VERY FEW. Or how many people don't have free mobile to mobile calling? (ATT and Sprint let you call any mobile, any carrier).

There's a reason why Skype never became a mega hit (and sort of the bastard step child now adopted by MS). Not many people have a use for it.

People making international calls might benefit from this. Maybe. Then the call quality... Facebook can't even load the feed half the time, and they're going to maintain phone calls?

I do love the pitch in the article, "or when you're not at home in the office, it can use your mobile data connection." Why would you?

There are peolpe who would benefit from this, but it's going to be a largely ignored feature.

This is why Apple would never do this for voice like they did for iMessage. It's not really needed.
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:08 PM   #25
Freebee
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This could put a "Hurtin" on Skype !!
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