After launching free calls for North Americans earlier this year, Facebook is now finally allowing the British a chance to get in on the service. Or more specifically, British people that are using an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
Getting started is fairly simple – just download and open the Facebook Messenger app. Next, select the “i” button in conversation view and press “Free call”. Like proper phone calls, you’re able to use other applications while keeping the call going and leave voice messages. If you receive a call, you’ll receive a push notification to let you know.
With the service now available in the UK, Canada and the US, it’s now possible to call internationally for free. This has long been possible with Skype, but many more people use Facebook and there’s no need to find additional contact information. Voice quality is consistent with Skype and other VOIP providers like Viber.
It’s not known if Facebook plans to open the service to other European countries in the future, but it’s probably a safe bet. Likewise, an Android version hasn’t yet been announced but presumably will be on the cards… eventually.
With the right Bluetooth headset, the service could provide a cheaper (read: free) way for families and friends to stay in touch even on tablets. I’m looking forward to trying it out, although I hope it’ll come to Android before I give in and buy an Apple device!