Facebook Messenger update adds free Wi-Fi calls

Facebook has recently updated its popular Messenger application for mobile devices. If you have never used Facebook Messenger, it is an application independent from the Facebook app that allows you to send and receive messages from your Facebook friends by using your data connection. The application is similar to texting, but has a more robust set of features including:

  • Chat with groups.
  • Text your phone contacts, even if you're not Facebook friends.
  • Share your location so people know when you're nearby.
  • Record voice messages.

The new update includes:

  • Groups: Now you can create groups for the people you message most. Name them, set group photos and keep them all in one place
  • Forwarding: Want to send a message or photo to someone who isn't in the conversation? Just tap to forward it
  • Conversation Shortcuts: Create a shortcut so that you can get to any conversation right from your home screen
  • Free Calls: Talk as long as you want and stay in touch wherever you are. (Calls are free over Wi-Fi. Otherwise, standard data charges apply).

One of the more interesting new features is the ability to call friends using your data plan. This feature was available in the beta, but is now available to all Facebook Messenger users. The new update is currently available for iOS (version 4.1) and Android (version 4.0). The Windows Phone version (version 3.1) was also updated but did not add the Wi-Fi calling feature. 

Source: FacebookImage via Google Play Store

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26 Comments

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I've has the free calls option for about a year now. It's worked very well for me and friends in various countries.

so according to the last sentence of the article, this really had no point in even appearing on a windows enthusiast site such as neowin...

elenarie said,
Could be something that could arrive in the future.
Like a french tech news site who did a false joke for April fools day. They have renamed the site "PC INpact" to "Next INpact" because tech isn't just "PC"...

1for-matik said,
Like a french tech news site who did a false joke for April fools day. They have renamed the site "PC INpact" to "Next INpact" because tech isn't just "PC"...

I was actually replying to the Tegument. The feature might come in a future version of the app, we might as well be aware that it exists now.

Tegument said,
I don't think anyone comes to neoWIN for apple or android news....

some people have a 'go to' site for their tech news, i come here, i like tech, the sites obvious bias in showing more ms news suits me, but i like to see other news.

am i doing it wrong?

duddit2 said,

some people have a 'go to' site for their tech news, i come here, i like tech, the sites obvious bias in showing more ms news suits me, but i like to see other news.

am i doing it wrong?

If you're doing it wrong, most of Neowin is.

Neowin wouldn't put this news here if people like us didn't want to read it.

Trolls will be trolls.

I'm sure it will catch up soon - Facebook's apps on the Windows Platform have been improving a lot lately. I doubt the WP version will be lagging behind for very long...

The way it will be until devs catch up or start putting more interest in WP. Android suffered from the same thing for a while. Apps are still written first for iOS for the most part but soon after or at the same time, available for Android.

Support for WP will increase. May just take some time.

SuperKid said,
Because its annoying to create apps for all the different platforms and we go with the biggest %, android and iOS

All due respect but if writing apps is your job and you find it annoying maybe you're in the wrong profession.

Also a lot of people don't use tools such as Xamarin (hopefully more will in the near future) and start sharing some (often a lot if not most) of their code and just write different front end views for each platform. If more and more people did that we'll be seeing apps come out on all 3 platforms simultaneously and have all the same features. Only makes sense (probably why not that many people do it yet)...

Don't even need Xamarin, Microsoft provices plenty of help to convert your app from iOS/Android to WP8 in a matter of hours.

If as a company those few hours are of no interest for you to help your customers even if it is a small market. Then you're screwing over your customers.

Seeing how the iOS and Android version are at 4.x and the WP one is at 3.1 I'm guessing we'll see a 4.0 update, probably soon'ish that will add it.