Facebook adds voice chats and soon voice calling in Messenger app

Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging application, much like Facebook's online chat. Yesterday, Facebook updated Messenger for iOS and Android with a new feature: voice messaging. Although that's not a unique feature, it seems that Facebook is paving the road to something bigger: voice calling. Currently only Canadian users can test the new VoIP feature, which will be rolled out to everyone "over the next few weeks,"  according to the changelog on Apple's App Store. Voice messaging is already available to everyone. 

You can send a voice chat by tapping the '+' icon to the left of the input field. After you tap 'Record Voice', you have to hold the red record button while you're speaking. Releasing your finger will send the voice chat, sliding off will cancel it. If you're a Canadian iOS user, you can try out voice calling by simply tapping the 'i' button in the top right corner and choose 'Free Call'.

When you take Facebook's user base into account, this could mean serious competition for more established VoIP providers like Skype. Last month, Facebook dropped the requirement of having a Facebook account for its messaging app, possibly as an attempt to lure WhatsApp users to Facebook. 

You can get the update for iOS here and for Android here.

Source: PCMag | Image via The Next Web

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12 Comments

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Doesn't whatsapp already have this feature? I doubt that having this feature would make users want to jump ship. However, it's good to reach feature parity.

nothing says ease and convenience like leaving a five minute text instead of a 30 second phone call. must be the same people that think a smartphone is too heavy.

So the desktop/PC version of Facebook itself hasn't gotten this feature I take it? Seems rather odd if it hasn't.

Facebook need to make a proper pc desktop version. The one there is only loads the actual chat part of the site in the window, that's all it is. you can easily test that out. it isn't even a program.
That's why I switched to Skype, much better Facebook contact support. Plus the regular Facebook chat features also.
But Skype on Android doesn't support Facebook contacts.

Wow, something for Canadians?
No doubt the APP won't be compatible with my version of Android though.
I'll have to check it out.