Facebook tests free Messenger voice calls

Facebook is testing a feature in Canada allowing iOS users to make voice calls over Wifi or a cellular connection using its Messenger app.

Like Skype, the service is based on VoIP, and it’s similar to Google Talk. It could be rolled out worldwide if it takes off in Canada, although right now, it only works for Canadian users making calls within the country.

Users simply tap the ‘i’ button in the top right hand corner of their screen and hit ‘free call’. It’s worth remembering, though, that the call isn’t necessarily free, as it will consume data if used with a cellular connection.

Messages can only be recorded from the mobile Messenger app, but can be played on a mobile or desktop.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world will have to make do with a decidedly less useful new feature for Messenger: the ability to record and send voice messages.

Tapping the ‘+’ button and holding the ‘record’ button makes the recording; releasing the button sends it. Allowing the finger to slide off the message cancels it. The service works with the iOS and Android versions, and messages can be up to a minute long.

Facebook’s been taking more of an interest in messaging lately, allowing users to log in with just a name and phone number, rather than only through a Facebook account. It’s recently started testing a paid messaging service, and has also been rumored to be discussing the acquisition of popular messaging service WhatsApp.

The update is here.