The tech press started buzzing earlier this month with reports that Facebook planned to add VoIP (voice over IP) calling to its Messenger app for the iPhone. The new feature officially arrived Tuesday, when Facebook released an update for its app.
What does it mean for you? Free calls. Sort of.
Facebook’s app transmits calls using your phone’s broadband connection, whatever it is — 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi. Instead of sucking up your monthly allotted voice minutes from your cellular carrier, it sucks up megabytes from your data plan. That’s a boon for heavy talkers with unlimited data plans.
This is nothing new or technologically groundbreaking: Skype was doing it long before Facebook. Facebook has many more active users than Skype, though, and the allure of having to use one less network or app will appeal to some (perhaps many).
But it’s not all roses just yet. For now, this is a pretty limited offering.