Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Jan 2013 22:30 UTC
Internet & Networking "In early January, Facebook began testing free calling over Wi-Fi and cellular data for all Messenger for iPhone users in Canada, and said that a US launch could be coming soon. Apparently, the test went well - a new free calling button has appeared in the app. Facebook has confirmed to The Verge that the feature began rolling out to US users today, and requires no update through the App Store. To make a call to another Messenger for iPhone user, all you need to do is open a conversation with that person, tap the 'i' button in the top-right corner, and tap Free Call." Imagine every Facebook user being able to call every other Facebook user for free. This could be very big.
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by Hiev on Wed 16th Jan 2013 22:47 UTC
Member since:

I'm surprised that Apple dind't block this feature.

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by andrewclunn on Wed 16th Jan 2013 23:02 UTC in reply to "..."
andrewclunn Member since:

The phone carriers are hardly something Apple wants to deal with. Facebook calling could really push voice over IP calling. As wireless internet becomes more ubiquitous (and you know it will) the phone carriers might be threatened by people preferring to use their iPads and other tablets for most calls, leaving actual phone calls and data plans as less necessary. Apple risks nothing here. And it's a nice selling point for their phones and iPad over the competition while it's still iOS only.

Reply Score: 5

But, but, but ... Android ...
by phoenix on Wed 16th Jan 2013 22:51 UTC
Member since:

Don't leave us untold millions out in the cold ...

Reply Score: 4

Drumhellar Member since:

This could also greatly benefit 7/10 of people that use Windows Phone!

But, I don't see them developing this feature just for 7 people.

Edited 2013-01-16 23:16 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

At least in the US, I don't think this would be that revolutionary. I have a good deal of minutes I don't use, to the point that they might as well be unlimited.

Plus, this isn't the first free voip app. I mean skype works for free too, right? Or am I missing something?

Reply Score: 5

phoenix Member since:

Most phones integrate Facebook contacts directly into your phone contacts. Don't know if Skype does the same.

If they integrate a simple "Phone via Facebook" feature to the contact page, then this can really become big. Especially if it shows you who's online directly in the contacts app.

Last time I had Skype installed, I had to manually start Skype, login to Skype, wait, find a contact within Skype, then initiate a call.

At least, in theory, this could be big. Depends on the call quality and how well integrated into default apps (contacts/dialer) it becomes. Skype's a pain to use on Android. And there's no iMessage/FaceTime equivalent on Android (that I've found to be easy-to-use).

Reply Score: 3

wojtek Member since:

don't know about iPhone but on Android >= 4.0 Skype is integrated into People app so you simply chose "call using skype" as well as all action with intention "call" have skype listed there.

As for the schema "install, launch, login, etc" - didn't know that you don't have to install FB and then enter your credentials there to log-in ;)

Reply Score: 2

zima Member since:

Confusingly (WRT this news), Skype does have some integration with FB...

Reply Score: 2

shmerl Member since:

Is it about VoIP <-> VoIP or VoIP <-> Phone Network?

Edited 2013-01-16 23:38 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I was guessing voip to voip. voip to pots would cost facebook additional money to connect to the phone lines. Its also more in line with facebook's strategy to become an all encompassing communication portal.

Plus, I thought I read that the contact had to be online and signed into facebook.

The more features facebook adds, the less I want to use them... and the more fake information I want to add to my profile.

Reply Score: 4

by HappyGod on Wed 16th Jan 2013 23:54 UTC
Member since:

Hmmm, those free calls might get pretty expensive if you exceed your cellular data plan!

Over here in Aus, we still have some pretty crap mobile data plans. If it makes it here we're going to have people with some large and unexpected bills.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Free?
by Morgan on Thu 17th Jan 2013 00:06 UTC in reply to "Free?"
Morgan Member since:

It's not great in the US either. Out of the four big carriers, only Sprint has truly unlimited data, but the problem with them is coverage and speed. I think the base 3G is just good enough for VoIP, but it's obvious that the network still prioritizes voice over data. LTE may be better, I don't have an LTE phone yet so I don't know for sure.

Still, I can see the other carriers hanging on to their metered data plans and throwing in "unlimited minutes" to simultaneously combat and profit from this development.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Free?
by glarepate on Thu 17th Jan 2013 03:08 UTC in reply to "Free?"
glarepate Member since:

So connect to FB over WiFi. It's faster than 3G and it doesn't impact your data allotment. Not always possible or convenient but it beats throwing away money if you have a choice.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Free?
by HappyGod on Thu 17th Jan 2013 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Free?"
HappyGod Member since:

So connect to FB over WiFi. It's faster than 3G and it doesn't impact your data allotment. Not always possible or convenient but it beats throwing away money if you have a choice.

Wow. Just use WIFI. Brilliant.

You've missed the point. Some people don't know the difference between WIFI and 3g. Just saying they should highlight it to users when they are using it on cellular.

Reply Score: 4

by le_c on Thu 17th Jan 2013 02:14 UTC
Member since:

what protocol they are using?

Reply Score: 4

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Thu 17th Jan 2013 23:53 UTC
Member since:

Privacy, anyone ... ?

Oh, I forgot: [your] privacy is dead. Get over it.

Reply Score: 3