If you're in the U.S. or Canada, Facebook Messenger for iPhone now lets you place Skype-like VoIP (voice over IP) audio calls over Wi-Fi to any of your friends who also happen to be in the U.S. or Canada. There's no FaceTime-style video calls yet, and no international calls, and the quality doesn't yet sound as good as Skype, but if you live in Facebook Messenger, it can be a convenient alternative.
The only problem is, Facebook hasn't exactly made the calling process obvious. And in some cases, it's downright cumbersome. Here's how you do it...
- Download Facebook Messenger from the App Store
- Launch Facebook Messenger from your iPhone Home screen.
- If you already have a recent text message conversation going on with the person you want to call, tap it.
- If you don't already have a recent text message conversation going on, tap the compose button at the bottom right. Then:
- Enter the name of the friend you want call.
- Tap on the friend they show up in the search results.
- Type a message to the friend.
- Tap Send to send the message.
- Tap on the Info button at the top right.
- Tap the Free Call button mid-screen left.
That's it! Provided you're both in the U.S. or Canada, and both on Wi-Fi, Facebook will connect your call.
Note: You have to have Facebook Messenger running, or have Push Notifications enable to alert you to incoming calls, or you won't know if or when a friend calls you.
If you get it working, or figure out any way to connect a call without jumping through the text messages hoop, let me know!