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Facebook Messenger App Updated With Voice Messages, Testing VoIP Calling in Canada

facebookicon.pngFacebook will update its Facebook Messenger app later today, adding two significant new voice-related abilities, reports The Next Web. The first will allow Facebook users to record a voice message to send to friends in addition to the standard text and photo messages.

The second is potentially more significant -- though is currently in limited beta testing for Canadian iOS users only. Facebook users will now have the option to make a VoIP phone call from one user to another.

Facebook has also said it will also begin the beta testing of a new VoIP calling feature within its iOS Messenger app, allowing users to establish a peer-to-peer connection and make calls without making a dent in their call allowance (although it will use existing data plans).

The only drawback is that voice calls (messages are available to all) will be available to Canadian users of the iOS Messenger app at launch.

To use the service, Canadian users will be able to log into their Messenger app, open a conversation with the person they want to call, hit the ‘i’ button in the top-right corner and selecting ‘Free Call.’ To send and receive calls, users will need to have the latest version of the app that is available today.
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Facebook's efforts create a calling system that can potentially reach its more than 1 billion users, providing a massive competition to other VoIP services like Skype.

Facebook Messenger for the iPhone is a free download from the App Store. [Direct Link]

A previous version of this article said it was the Facebook iOS app that was updated. It is the standalone Facebook Messenger app that gained the new voice features.

Top Rated Comments

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24 months ago
So I can use my phone as a phone? Hmm... this changes everything.
Rating: 12 Votes
24 months ago
Great. Facebook will now know how my voice sounds like. They will be able to sell this piece of information somehow.
Rating: 9 Votes
24 months ago
for once canadians get dibs on something first LOL
Rating: 5 Votes
24 months ago
And how much Data does it take per second on a conversation I wonder?

Over the cell network or wifi only I wonder...?



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Yay for Canada! Beta testers unite!


Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.

Rating: 4 Votes
24 months ago
Will this be compatible with desktop Facebook? They're not going to reach 1 billion users if they only provide their feature for mobile users.
Rating: 4 Votes
24 months ago

Great. Facebook will now know how my voice sounds like. They will be able to sell this piece of information somehow.


Exactly. So, Facebook makes its money off of owning your data, knowing your habits, and then selling all of that information to advertisers and data collection firms it partners with.

They've already proven they can't be trusted with users' information - why would users want to have FB now tap their phone conversations?
Rating: 3 Votes
24 months ago
Why only Canada? Seems to be Facebook is copying bbm voice.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago
There are several reasons why they are probably testing in Canada first.
1. The market is smaller so they can test on a smaller scale.
2. Canadians are more polite.
3. Canadians have less of a sense of entitlement.
4. Canadians still have more consumer confidence to "spend" money as the "downturn" did not affect Canada as badly as the US.
5. The cellular infrastructure in Canada is more robust than a lot of markets in the US.

When I was down in Vegas in the first half of December, I noticed that there were a lot of fellow Canadians there at the time. Canadians are travelling and spending more than Americans are right now and Facebook is ultimately an advertising platform much like the "free" google services. I'm surprise that Apple and Google have not thought of trials for services here in Canada as well.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago

Exactly. So, Facebook makes its money off of owning your data, knowing your habits, and then selling all of that information to advertisers and data collection firms it partners with.


I'm sure, like any ad placement agency out there, Facebook doesn't sell your information to advertisers at all. That's just daft, that information is a gold egg laying goose. You don't sell it, you get it to lay eggs.

What Facebook (and Google and Apple and every other ad placement service) does is collect information through analytics and then sell ad placement based on that information rather than selling the information directly. Doing business that way is much more sustainable.
Rating: 2 Votes
24 months ago
Hehe, the quote

The only drawback is that voice calls (messages are available to all) will be available to Canadian users of the iOS Messenger app at launch.


makes it kind of seem like "We're sorry, but Canadians are using this thing too, so apologies to anyone who has the misfortune of talking with a Canadian."
Rating: 1 Votes

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