February 23, 2011 by Vincent
Call Facebook Friends for Free from iPhone
When Facebook and Skype announced a partnership September last year, I was expecting a deep integration that would enable voice calls between Skype-Facebook and Facebook-Facebook—all by just using existing Facebook accounts.
A month later, Skype released a newer version of its Windows client, with almost nothing to do with bridging calls between Skype and Facebook. All it does was adding a new Facebook tab that is nothing but another way to read your news feed. You can call your Facebook friends if they made their number public, which will of course uses your Skype credit. Free calls is only possible if your Facebook friend has a Skype account.
Far from what I expected.
Forget about Skype. Here’s an app for iPhone and iPod Touches developed by CrispApp, called the Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger enables you to make voice calls from your iPhone to any of your Facebook friends that is online.
How it works?
- Initiate the call using Facebook Messenger app on your iPhone
- A link will be sent to your friend via Facebook chat
- The link will bring your friend to a web-based VoIP client, which will automatically connect itself to your call
- Once the connection is established, you both can start talking, for free
All it takes to receive the call is just a flash enabled browser. No additional software or Facebook app is required.
While the main selling point of Facebook Messenger is none other than voice calls, it also supports push-enabled Facebook chat. The interface is just sleek, better than any other expensive instant messaging app in the App Store.
The app is currently only available on iOS, but an Android version is said to be planned. It would be perfect if it is also possible to initiate the call from Facebook itself, rather than just from mobile devices.
Sure, there is Skype for desktop to desktop calls, but not everyone has a Skype account. Utilizing Facebook’s network for VoIP makes so much more sense.
Though it is free to make calls using the Facebook Messenger app, the app cost $2.99 in the App Store.
[Facebook Messenger] (App Store link)