It’s a little funny that Facebook trotted out Graph Search as their big announcement on Tuesday, only to quietly announce a far more significant new feature a couple days later. I guess they thought Facebook becoming arguably the biggest VoIP service on the planet overnight wasn’t that big of a deal.
But that indeed seems to be the case, now that users of the Facebook Messenger app will now be able to make calls to each for free. Video calling won’t be possible just yet, so it’s not exactly a direct blow against Skype, but if the audio is here now, you have to think video isn’t all that far away, and it goes without saying that Facebook has a much larger user base than Skype. For now, this feature will only be available to those with the iOS app, but again, that’s bound to change in the near future. If you do have the iOS Messenger app, you’ll now be able to send a call to any of your Facebook contacts – the recipient will get a push notification.
It’s probably not all that big of a deal for most, especially because unlimited minutes are coming standard on just about any calling plan that a person with an iPhone would have. For those who are trying to avoid contracts by handling all of their calls over Wi-Fi connections, however, this could be the thing that makes shedding a data and calling plan altogether possible.
The service is currently rolling out across the United States. Extending the new service internationally hasn’t been touched on by Facebook yet. The iOS Facebook Messenger app itself is available for free on the iTunes App Store.
Via The Verge