How to make free voice calls over Wi-Fi with Facebook Messenger for iPhone

How to make free voice calls over Wi-Fi with Facebook Messenger for iPhone

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...

  1. Download Facebook Messenger from the App Store
  2. Launch Facebook Messenger from your iPhone Home screen.
  3. If you already have a recent text message conversation going on with the person you want to call, tap it.
  4. If you don't already have a recent text message conversation going on, tap the compose button at the bottom right. Then:
    1. Enter the name of the friend you want call.
    2. Tap on the friend they show up in the search results.
    3. Type a message to the friend.
    4. Tap Send to send the message.
  5. Tap on the Info button at the top right.
  6. 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!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter, App.net, Google+.

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There are 7 comments. Add yours.

aubreyq says:

At first I was saying to myself "Most U.S. customers probably have enough (or unlimited) voice minutes, so why go through Facebook?" but then I realized that this would be a good way to reach a Facebook friend whose phone number you don't have. Plus, you can access Canada for free.

I don't see many comments on these posts, but I have to say I like iMore.com. I'm an iPhone newb and over the last week it feels like these guides were written specifically for me, LOL!

stephen007 says:

I was thinking along the same lines as Aubrey. It seems like most people would have no interest in this at all. It actually seems like a solution in search of a problem. But I'm just playing devil's advocate. It is always good to have different products available because now people will have the option of Skype, Facebook, Facetime (and possibly others I'm unaware of) to use for VOIP calling. Competition is good for the consumer because we'll get the best product that works for us individually.

onlycube says:

Apple technology increase day by day, i recently pass Apple OS X exam for making unique IOS application.You are amazing "Rene Ritchie". After understanding basic concept of programming i can make tiny apps lie IOS games.

I have blog( http://examinspector.com/ ), now i decided to make it apple programming.

clooney229 says:

Facebook with VoIP while only available for Canadians at this time, Facebook will probably spread VoIP calling to the rest of the world if it works well. VoIP is not a new feature generally, as many people probably already have Skype or Viber installed, but the ability to connect with your Facebook friends – and with a billion active users, most of our friends are on Facebook – can be huge. It remains to be seen how this new move will affect the growing Facebook-Skype integration we’ve been seeing in the past year.
Get more understanding about VoIP services with Facebook from here :- http://www.speechpath.ie/

Sharon Flory says:

I have the samsung s3, im going overseas to Vietnam, can i use free calls through facebook messanger via wifi

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