Facebook Just Rolled Out Voice Calls Internationally
Earlier this week Facebook rolled out the ability to make voice calls on its Messenger app for iOS for members in the UK following an initial launch in the US and Canada in January. From today, without having to update the Messenger app, Facebook has enabled voice calls for its International members. The service essentially turns Facebook Messenger into a phone app, along the lines of Asian messenger apps Line, KakaoTalk, and WeChat.
Voice calls are enabled for Facebook members who have installed the separate Facebook Messenger app on their mobile devices. The telephony feature is accessible through the little blue "i" icon on the top right hand corner of a contact's profile. If the contact has the Free Call button enabled, this means you can initiate a voice call with that person.
Having tested calls over WiFi and 3G from an iPad mini to contacts using an iPhone on WiFi and an Android over 3G, it looks as if a strong connection may be required. The 3Mbps WiFi connection handled the call solidly with good quality audio being delivered both ways while calling over a 3G connection often failed. From this initial testing, it looks like voice calls from the Asian messaging apps and even FaceTime work better over 3G, although it could also be down to the quality of the 3G connection at that moment.
Facebook is scheduled to hold an event on the 4th of April, with indications that it will be launching a more comprehensive mobile solution using the Android platform. Rumors and speculations say the company has been working with HTC to deliver the Facebook Phone although Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg insisted that "the company was not working on a co-branded hardware", reports The Verge. Having voice calls enabled Internationally ahead of this announcement only serves to fuel more talks about Facebook's mobile ambitions.