Why message, comment, or poke when you can talk? That’s the question Facebook is asking with its latest update to Facebook Messenger, which adds a brand new calling feature to the free iOS application.
Provided users are hooked up to a Wi-Fi network, voice-over-IP (VoIP) calls can be made to online pals using the iPhone application free of charge. If you decide to take the feature for a spin over 3G or 4G, however, standard data charges apply and you could end up exceeding your limited data plan.
Message threads now include a phone icon, and as you’d expect touching this icon initiates a call (as pictured above). It’s as simple and useful as using FaceTime Audio, which Apple built into its mobile OS with iOS 7.
The news of course comes as WhatsApp Messenger – the instant messaging (IM) app recently purchased by Facebook – is rumored to launch its own VoIP service. Not long ago, images of WhatsApp’s anticipated calling feature surfaced online, and given Facebook’s most recent move the launch of VoIP inside of WhatsApp seems more than likely.
For now, Facebook Messenger users can enjoy chatting with their friends using the newly added Internet calling feature. As mentioned, it’s available to access in the updated Facebook Messenger iOS application, and this can be downloaded free of charge on the App Store.
See also: Expedia For iOS Is Now Offering Users Free Apps As Part Of Its ‘Media Lounge’, Defy All Physics And Logic As You Journey Through Monument Valley, and Apple Reportedly Acquired Speech Recognition Firm Novauris Last Year.