Social network adds VoIP functionality to Facebook Messenger in the UK
The social network made the feature available to US and Canadian users earlier this year, but has now confirmed that Facebook voice calls will be available to British users.
VoiP calls are initiated by tapping the ‘I’ button in Facebook Messenger in an individual conversation and then tapping ‘Free call’. The app runs in the background, meaning that calls can be made at any time, although if the intended recipient is offline, a message can be left for them to listen to when they log back in.
Facebook voice calls
Calls are routed through Facebook itself and not through another VoIP application. Skype functionality has been integrated into the web version of Facebook since last year, but is currently absent from the company’s smartphone offerings
Facebook Messenger, which launched in August 2011, will now go head to head with other VoIP services such as Viber, while BlackBerry has also decided to include voice calling over Wi-Fi in the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger.
Facebook will hope that the introduction of voice calling will help reduce Facebook fatigue, which has seen two thirds of users take a break from using the social network at one time or another, and encourage more people to sign up for the service.
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