FaceBook applications are a “must have” on many smartphones, allowing users stay connected on the go with messages and photo sharing, but now FaceBook will also allow users to make direct phone calls.
FaceBook added its new free calling features in its Messenger app for iPhone users in the United States. The app allows users to make “free calls” by choosing a friend and clicking the “i” button located in the top-right section of the application. If the person called also has the Messenger app the call should go through.
While free calls are a nice addition, the question remains; will anyone use this call feature?
The “free call” feature might be new to FaceBook, but there are already a plethora of call applications available. Skype, which is perhaps the most popular call app, already offers more utility than its Facebook counterpart and it’s equally free. The FaceBook app only allows you to call people who have the Messenger app on an iPhone in the United States. Skype on the other hand allows users to make calls to anyone regardless of their location or what device they are using (including laptops and PCs).
Perhaps even more detrimental, though, are the new phone plans offered by carriers. Many carriers today, including Verizon Wireless and Sprint, already offer unlimited voice minutes. Since the new FaceBook system requires users to be in its Messenger app to make a call, and only allows users to call people with the Messenger app as well, it’s far more difficult and restrictive than making a simple phone call. Therefore, if users have unlimited voice, why bother going through the hassle of using the FaceBook app?
Still the FaceBook “free call” feature may prove useful to users who already find themselves on the application. Since it’s easy to simply switch from messages to a call, users may simply want to use the FaceBook free call feature instead of leaving the application.
If FaceBook can help even a small percentage of its smartphone userbase, the “free call” service will likely be seen as a welcomed addition.