With so many apps out there that offer free calls, video calls and text message services over WIFI or 3G it’s not surprise that a company such as Facebook have increased users ability to take advantage of these types of services within the Facebook system.
Facebook have began testing a feature in Canada for messenger users which allows them to call their Facebook friends via the website or app simply by clicking the ‘i’ button in the corner when your having a conversation with someone, this means that your Facebook contact list will basically become a phonebook allowing you to call any of them for free if you have a data or Wi-Fi connection.The feature has already come to the US today but we don’t know when access to this feature will be given to European users.
So what does this mean, not a vast amount as it’s not a new feature that other apps and companies such as Skype offer but it shows that Facebook are taking the voIP market extremely seriously, they have already hooked up with Skype to offer video chat with users but this move has meant that many phone networks may have to seriously consider the amount of loss in revenue from phone calls however they will still be able to ramp money from data usage.
This feature will allow you to call your Facebook friends, they will recieve a notification via ‘push’ telling them that ‘John Smith’ or whatever your name is is trying to get ring you. Users who are in areas where they have a lack of phone signal will find this new feature essential if trying to get hold of someone who doesn’t use existing programs such as Whatsapp or Skype. People’s reviews of the service from Cananda have done comparisons with existing companies who offer phone calls via apps using Wi-Fi or data connections such as Skype and Viber have said that quality is on par with them.
Ultimately it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for mobile phone networks and how with the rise of Wi-Fi hotspots meaning people will have less and less need to use the network to call or text through, however the data needed when not in hotspots will always be a revenue generator for them in the near future.